Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes plus overnight refrigeration

Servings: 10 to 12

Note: From Alain Giraud. Published in an article by Leslie Brenner July 14, 2004. The dough is delicate and somewhat difficult to handle, but well worth the effort. It's easiest to roll it out between industrial-sized sheets of plastic wrap (available at Smart N' Final). The quality of the butter is important: Giraud recommends Plugra, available at Trader Joe's. If the figs aren't very ripe and sweet, sprinkle them with brown sugar.

Sugar dough

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons blanched almond meal

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1. Cream the butter in a electric mixer with the paddle attachment at medium speed. Add the sugar and scrape down the sides. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.

2. Add the almond meal and vanilla extract. Beat at low speed; add the flour and baking powder and continue to mix at low speed just until well combined. Do not overwork.

3. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a rectangle 2 inches thick. Seal in plastic wrap, then cover with foil. Refrigerate overnight.

Frangipane

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour