New Maker @issycroker came to food styling and photography just as social media was taking off. Realising a desk job wasn’t for her, she worked hard to establish herself, boldly riding the creative wave of the Instagram boom and is now one half of @thecuriouspear food and travel writing team and co-founder of the @narrowaystudio, a collaborative space for food and photography. #LiveClicquot

New Makers : Issy Croker

“I love working with food, I don’t want to be anywhere else.”

@issycroker  honed her skills cooking “huge amounts of food” to practice her photography. When she didn’t hear back from any of the established photographers she had contacted for advice, she decided to follow her own path, carving out a successful career and learning about flavor and color as she went. In the tart she created especially for us, notes of citrus and cardamom freshen the richness of roast figs and frangipane to create the perfect foil for the liveliness and fruitiness of Veuve Clicquot Rosé champagne.


"Champagne is definitely more casual than I gave it credit for when I was younger”

For @issycroker, food is best enjoyed with others. Her roasted fig tart makes for a great way to share Veuve Clicquot Rosé champagne at the end of a meal. Here's how she created it:

You’ll need 250g plain flour, 125g unsalted butter, 50g icing sugar, zest of 2 lemons and a little salt and water for the pastry.

100g golden sugar, 100g softened unsalted butter, 140g ground almonds, 10 cardamom pods, 75g plain flour, 8 large figs, quartered, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, 50g chopped pistachios, large pinch of salt for the frangipane.

The zest of a lemon and crème fraiche to serve.

Combine the flour, salt, icing sugar and lemon zest in a food processor for a couple of seconds, then add the ice-cold butter and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add ice-cold water 1 tsp at a time until the dough binds together as a ball.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a ball, flatten slightly and cover with cling film. Leave in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes, handle it as little as possible.

Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan. Dust the work surface with flour and roll out the pastry until it’s 2mm thick. Very carefully line a 24cm tart dish, allowing excess to overhang the edge. Chill for half an hour, then prick the base with a fork.

Line the raw pastry with greaseproof paper filled with baking beans or rice, and blind bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, take out the baking beans and greaseproof paper and pop it back for a further 10 minutes until lightly golden. Take out, trim and leave to cool. Lower the oven temperature to 160˚C fan.

Open the cardamom pods and finely chop the seeds. Beat the butter until it is creamy, then add the sugar, cardamom seeds and vanilla bean paste and beat again. Add the almonds and beat again, then whisk in the eggs one at a time followed by the flour, until all incorporated.

Spread the frangipane mixture into the tart tin and arrange figs on top, pushing them lightly into the batter. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios, a generous sprinkling of salt & bake for 35-45 mins, until golden all over and lightly set.

Leave to cool slightly, sprinkle with icing sugar and the zest of another lemon.

Serve warm with with creme fraiche.


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