Perfect Fall Dessert

Those of you who know me well know that I love sweets. Due to this, I am actually no stranger to baking. In fact, I swear by my mom's homemade biscuits and I have made them for many a friend who have come to visit. Considering this, I though it would be a breeze to make this Fig my surprise, it was not nearly as easy as it seemed and I was not sure that I got everything right until I tasted it. I have lots of pics for this one - enjoy!

Fig Tart** from The Top Chef Cookbook
Serves 8

2/3 cup pine nuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon suga
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk

4 ounces dried Black Mission figs
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
1 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 325F
2. Put the pine nuts in a food processor and pulse to roughly chop. Add the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl (see first picture above).
3. Add the butter, egg yolk, and 2 tablespoons water and use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal (see second picture above). For the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

 4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the dried figs, sugar, 3/4 cup water, and the vanilla bean and seeds (see pic above) for 15 to 20 minutes, until the figs are very soft (see pic below).
5. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the cream, and the blend to combine; add the eggs and blend briefly to combine. Set aside.

6.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator and remove the plastic. Pat the dough evenly into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Fit a piece of aluminum foil into the tart shell to help it keep its shape; bake for 10 minutes (pic directly below), then remove the foil and bake for another 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown (pic below pic below).

7. Fill the tart shell with the fig mixture and bake for 24 to 28 minutes, or until the filling is just set in the center. Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Let me start off by saying that making a tart is NOT LIKE making biscuits, brownies, soda bread or carrot cake - all of which I have made from scratch before. Not to mention taking pics in between baking to document the entire WORK!

Ok, so...second, when I got to STEP 5 I was really confused. In the ingredients, it said to set aside the vanilla bean seeds, yet STEP 5 told me to include "everything" in the blending process. I'm not sure if I followed the steps correctly, but I ended up including the vanilla bean seeds in the blending process but NOT the vanilla bean shell.

Finally, when I got to STEP 7 and had to pour all of the tart mixture into the shell, I had WAAAY too much tart mixture for the shell. LOL, I spilled it all over my stove, and in my oven, LOL!!! I cleaned it up, but that's why there are no pics of the tart filling prior to baking. Also, I ended up baking the tart for a total of 50 minutes. It simply was not solid at any time shorter.

Now all of that being said, this is my first time eating anything fig-related - EVER, and I loved it! It was not too sweet, somewhat nutty and figgy(???). Overall a great fall dessert.

**Because this recipe is from the Top Chef Cookbook (like the cookbook from the show Top Chef), there was an extra addition in the recipe to really entice your palette for this meal. The additions were: three cheeses - pecorino tartufo, gorgonzola and taleggio, honey (for drizzle over the taleggio), sourdough baguette and fig jam. Each person should receive 1 oz. of each type of cheese and one slice of bread, finally top the tart with some jam to finish the meal! I opted out of this because cheese aint cheap :-)

1 comment:

  1. This looks so good! Oooh, cut it. I wanna see the inside. I can imagine it warm and gooey and delicious. :-)

    * Check out Shevon's blog: - more vegan, vegetarian dishes I think you'll like.