Black Raspberry and Fig Tart

Francisco “Paco” Aceves

Benchmark Hospitality International at Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, WV

This delicious dessert is adapted from a decadent tart Francisco “Paco” Aceves served at his Beard House dinner. He made his with black raspberries and black mission figs and served it with amaretto syrup, candied citrus, and espresso honey tuiles. Raspberries and figs are a great combination of sweet and tart flavors.


Hazelnut Pastry:
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
Black Raspberry and Fig Filling:
  • 3 cups frozen black raspberries, thawed
  • 1 cup figs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Place the hazelnuts on the baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Place the cooled hazelnuts into the bowl of a food processor with 2 tablespoons of the flour and pulse until the hazelnuts are finely ground.

Place the ground hazelnuts, the remaining flour, and salt into a large bowl and combine using a whisk. Make a well in the center and add the confectioner's sugar, brown sugar, and egg yolks; using your fingers or a wooden spoon, combine the sugars and the yolks, mixing in the well until the sugars begin to dissolve. Add the butter to the well and mix using your fingers or wooden spoon. Begin to incorporate the flour. When it is combined, form it into a ball and knead the dough two or three times on a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap it securely in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour.

Raise oven temperature to 400º F.

Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough disc and place on a sheet of parchment. Roll out into a 1/8-inch thick circle. Turn the dough into a 9-inch tart pan and press gently into the sides. Trim the excess dough from the top edge. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

To blind-bake the tart shell, place a piece of aluminum foil over the tart dough and place some dried beans, rice, or pie weights on top of the foil. Transfer the tart shell to a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and no wet spots remain. Remove the tart shell from the oven. Cool on a rack, leaving the weights inside. When completely cool, remove the foil and weights.

Combine the raspberries, figs, sugar, flour, and cornstarch in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until it begins to thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour into prepared tart shell. Allow to cool before serving.


One 9-inch tart