The book I ended up picking was Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets.
Now anybody who follows Raymond Blanc's recent programme or owns this book will know this book contains the quite legendary Piece Montee croquembouche, a literal mountain of choux pastry, caramel and spun sugar....fortunately I didnt land on this *breathes a sigh of relief* and instead I landed on his Fig Tart....
250g Plain Flour
75g Icing Sugar
pinch of salt
120g unsalted butter (diced at room temp)
2 egg yolks
1-2 tsp cold water
150g Semi Dried figs 9stalks removed)
100g Fig Jam
12 Fresh Figs
50g Fig Jam
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt together.
Make a well and add the yolks and water
Mix together in concentric circles using your finger tips to bring together into a soft dough.
Remove 30g and wrap in clingfilm for later.
Roll into a cylinder and cut in half.
Rest one in the fridge for 30 minutes, the other can be frozen for future use.
Place the rested dough on a large sheet of cling film and place another sheet over it. (this rolling out method is brilliant by the way)
Roll out the pastry in the cling film in a circle shape to about 0.3cm thick.
Place a tart ring on a flat baking sheet covered with baking paper.
Use the little piece of pastry to mould into the ring.
Use a rolling pin to take off the excess around the edges and then push up the pastry above the edge by 2mm to compensate for shrinkage.
Rest for up to an hour in the fridge.
Preheat the oven and abaking stone or a heavy baking tray to 170 C.
Slide the pastry case off the tray onto the stone/tray and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove and brush with egg white.
Leave to cool.
Have a cup of tea and breathe.
Puree the soft figs in a food processor.
Crush the blackberries.
Mix both soft figs and blackberries in a bowl with the fig jam.
Bake for 25 minutes at 170C.
Remove and cool.
Melt the jam and brush over the figs.
Serve sprinkled with Icing sugar and a dollop of creme fraiche.
Verdict: Absolutley delicious, lovely contrast between sweet figs and the sharpness of the blackberries alongside the lovely crumbly pastry. An excellent recipe to try if you want to test yourself in terms of pastry and the new techniques I have picked up will be very useful indeed.