It’s finally fig season! The window above my kitchen sink has a spectacular view of my neighbors fig trees. The trees have grown tremendously over the past few years and I love gazing at them while washing dishes. Fig trees are all over my neighborhood. We have a rogue tree growing out of the side of a driveway in our alley and a black fig tree near the Baptist Church on East Lake – to name just a few. The anticipation has been (literally) growing and the figs are just beginning to become ripe. Jim and Elizabeth (fig tree owners, neighbors and newly weds!) reported they picked 12 figs this weekend. The word is out (at least on Mendenhall Street)!
Between watching an embarrassing amount of Orange is the New Black and hosting a dog friend this weekend, I had friends over for a casual Friday night supper with a fancy fig tart. I was particularly excited to see how beautiful the tart turned out and it really was not terribly challenging. The recipe is from Lorraine Pascale’s show on the Cooking Network. I saw it several years ago and could not forget how beautiful it was. I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to make it and decided to MAKE THE PERFECT TIME. It paired perfectly with a sparkling rose wine.
If you don’t have fig trees growing around your home, you can buy them at The Fresh Market. Take advantage and make this special seasonal tart for friends and family. It’s always the perfect time for figs (when they are in season).
Fig Tart with Pistachios and Mint
For the pastry (makes enough for two crusts) from Sunday Suppers at Luques
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 extra-large egg yolks
- 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter
For the filling
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3/4 cup cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons (more or less), honey
- 12 figs, quartered
- 1 handful pistachios, chopped
- mint for garnish
1. Whisk the cream and egg yolks together in a small bowl.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter on medium speed until you have a coarse meal. Gradually add the cream and yolks and mix until just combined. Do not overwork the dough.
3. Transfer the dough to a large work surface and bring it together with your hands to incorporate completely. Divide the dough in half, shape into 1-inch-thick discs, and wrap one of them to freeze and use later.
4. If the dough is too soft, put in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up a little. If the dough is manageable, place it on a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle a little flour over the dough, and roll it out into a 1-inch-thick circle, flouring as necessary. Starting at one side, roll and wrap the dough around the rolling-pin to pick it up. Unroll the dough over a tart pan. Gently fit the dough loosely into the pan, lifting the edges and pressing the dough into the corners with your fingers. To remove the excess dough, roll the rolling-pin lightly over the top of the tart pan for a nice clean edge, or work your way around the edge pinching off any excess dough with your fingers. Chill for 1 hour.
5. Prick the pastry with a fork, cover with parchment and pie weights.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pie weights and bake for another 15 or 20 minutes – or until the pastry is golden brown.
7. All the pastry to completely COOL!
8. In a cold bowl, whip cream until it begins to set. Add room temp. cream cheese. Whip together until fluffy. Stir in honey (to your taste!)
9. Spread the whipped cream and cheese topping into tart. Top with figs (I started from the corner and lined them up like soldiers!). Sprinkle with pistachios and bits of fresh mint.
10. Refrigerate until you serve.