I’ve been on vacation this week, or “staycation” in catch phrased version. Yesterday morning when I took the doggies for their walkies my garden was scented with the wonderful smells of my neighbors numerous fig trees.
Figs are a favorite of mine this time of year. I especially love them with Gorgonzola and a drizzle of honey over bitter salad greens, adding a few toasted walnuts for a nice crunch. I’ve also had figs and Gorgonzola on pizzetta. Another big hit. Wrapped in bacon is an exotic version I’ve loved in the past, though since I’ve turned vegetarian this is obviously no longer an option.
One of the more inspiring cookbooks is Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Shere. Here is her recipe for Another Fig Tart. She named it this to differentiate it from her Fig Tart recipe with the puff pastry crust. This one has a pate brisee crust. Lindsey is one of the best pastry chefs in the country.
Pies and tarts are one of my favorite Saturday morning projects. I’ve been baking them since I was a young mother and wife. I would love to try this with creme patisserie. Lindsey would probably not approve that change however.
Lindsey’s Another Fig Tart
One 9 inch tart shell (buy Lindsey’s book or use my pie crust recipe found in the archives of this blog)
1 and a half pounds rip figs
1 t. sugar
2 T. apricot jam
few drops each of kirsch and Grand Marnier
Bake the tart shell in a preheated 350F oven until evenly golden brown and cooked through. Meanwhile, cut off the tough ends from the stems of the figs. Peel the figs–the peel should pull off easily if the figs are ripe; if they are thick-skinned green figs, you will have to cut the peel off. Slice the figs in half and overlap them in the cooled shell. Sprinkle them lightly with the sugar and bake the tart in the 350F oven until the figs are cooked through and juicing a little–about 30 minutes.
Cool the tart on a rack. In 5 or 10 minutes, warm the jam and add the liqueurs to it. Brush the figs with the glaze, and serve the tart warm with a little creme Chantilly.
Photo Credits: Evan Sung New York Times and Andrew Scrivani New York Times