Kim left a comment on my last post, asking about the recipe for the fig tart.
I was down in the Strip District on Saturday morning, and was sucked into Sunseri’s by a sign advertising fresh figs. There was about 3/4 of a flat in the cooler, so I appropriated it and headed for the checkout — and was promptly intercepted by a cigar-chomping gentleman who asked did I want a whole flat instead?
Yes. Yes I did.
I wanted to make a fig tart. I’d seen a bunch of recipes calling for whole or halved fresh figs in a custard over the past few years, and I was in a mood to make one.
Aside from the figs, I didn’t purchase anything else to make the tart — so I had to cobble things together a bit, adapting recipes to what I had around. I knew that I didn’t want to make a rolled pie crust, in this heat, and I had no sour cream, yogurt, soft cheese….
The crust for this tart is adapted from Fresh Fig Tart with Rosemary Cornmeal Crust and Lemon Mascarpone Cream:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped dried rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
(I’m just altering their instructions for what I actually did. I only wrote bits of the crust instructions below.)
Pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, rosemary, black pepper, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-sized butter lumps. (I always have to scrape down the sides of my processor bowl with a spatula when I do this.)
Drizzle evenly with 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until just incorporated. Gently squeeze a small handful: If it doesn’t hold together, add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition and continuing to test.
Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie or tart pan with floured fingers. Chill or freeze crust until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Bake crust in middle of oven until center and edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes (don’t worry if bottom of crust cracks).
So that was my crust.
Next, filling. I found a recipe for Fresh Fig Tart with Orange Flower Custard, and I liked the flavor combination, but I didn’t have the ingredients for that filling. I did have orange extract, cream, and milk — what I was looking for now was a fig tart with a cream or milk custard, to cut down on guesswork on the cooking time. Almond-Crusted Fig Tart: Crostata di Fichi Mandorlati fit the bill.
…of course, I didn’t have enough cream…
- 14 fresh black figs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Wash figs, trim off the stems, and halve them.
Beat the eggs, and combine with the cream, milk, black pepper, orange & vanilla extracts, confectioner’s sugar, and salt.
Arrange fig halves in the crust, the pour the custard around them — don’t try to cover the figs.
Sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar, then bake for 25 minutes, or until the center is nearly set (for me, it actually took about 40 minutes, but the air conditioner was blowing directly on the oven).
Cool on the counter. If using a tart pan, let cool at least 15 minutes before removing the pan to let it cool the rest of the way.