Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fresh Fig Tart

Up until about a year ago, the only experience I had with figs was when I opened up a package of Fig Newtons.


Spoiler- fresh figs taste nothing like Fig Newton filling. Nothing. Like. It.

Figs are a little earthy, not overly sweet and characterized by minute seeds that are fruits answer to caviar.


Did I mention they are beautiful?

This tart is a fusion of things I am learning at work. A buttery tart shell is baked and then filled with a homemade pastry cream. Fresh figs are arranged on top of the cream and then drizzled with honey.





I may have eaten the figs off of my slice fist so that I could just eat the pastry cream and buttery tart shell together... 

This tart is a little more time consuming than opening a package of Fig Newtons, but trust me it is worth it.

Fresh Fig Tart
for the shell
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
dash salt
1 heaping cup AP flour
- - -
1. In a small saucepan, melt butter; add sugar, salt, water and oil; cook until bubbling
2. Stream hot butter mixture into flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until dough just comes together (it will appear slightly shiny and sticky)
3. Using your hands (be careful- dough will be hot) press dough into a tart pan- don't worry if it is not perfect
4. Par bake shell for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven
5. Set aside and cool completely before filling

for the pastry cream
1 c milk
1/4 c sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- - -
1. Heat milk until almost boiling
2. While milk is warming, whisk together sugar, corn starch and egg yolks; strain to remove any lumps
3. Temper egg mixture with hot milk then pour warmed egg mixture into saucepan with remaining milk
4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until cream thickens (corn starch thickens at the bloiling point)
5. Continue to cook and whisk until pastry cream is thick- you want the whisk marks to sit on the surface of the cream and not immediately sink back into it
6. Pour hot cream into a bowl and add butter and vanilla; stirring until incorporated
7. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure to pres the plastic onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming
8. Chill until completely cool

for the finished tart
1 cooked and cooled tart shell
1 batch pastry cream, cooled
10 fresh figs, rinsed and dried
honey
- - -
1. Pipe pastry cream into tart shell
2. Cut figs as desired (I cut some of mine into wedges and others into thinner slices) and arrange figs on top of the pastry cream in concentric circles
3. Drizzle figs with honey
4. Chill for at least one hour before cutting and serving

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