In the Middle East, figs and anise are often cooked down to a jam. I thought this combination would be beautiful in a classic fig and goat cheese tart. The pistachios add a gorgeous nuttiness, and I love the combination of sweet and savory here. I use my favorite tart crust recipe, but feel free to use store-bought if you are in a time pinch.–Aliya LeeKong
LC Fig Frenzy Note
Ever find yourself in something of a frenzy for figs? You know, purchasing obscene amounts of this most ephemeral vixen of summer fruits? Even worse, stealing figs from unsuspecting neighbors? We understand. We’re not certain whether it’s an affliction or a way of life, but we understand. This fig and goat cheese tart puts some of that lovely excess to swell—and swanky—use.
Special Equipment: 9-inch round tart pan
Fig Tart Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 4 H
- Serves 8 to 10
- For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes, plus more for the tart pan
- 1 large egg
- 1 to 3 teaspoons ice cold water
- For the filling
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 3/4 teaspoon ground aniseed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons pistachios, shelled and roasted
- 10 fresh figs, preferably Black Mission, halved
- Honey or balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- Make the crust
- 1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar. Scatter the cold cubes of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture looks sandy or like coarse meal.
- 2. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and 1 teaspoon water. Add the egg mixture to the processor in increments, pulsing as you go, until the dough sticks together. There will still be a lot of crumbly bits that haven’t been incorporated and that’s okay. (If the dough still looks dry and doesn’t hold together when pinched, pulse in another 1 to 2 teaspoons water, a little at a time, until it does hold together. We didn’t need the extra water, though.)
- 3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface or a piece of parchment paper. Lightly knead the dough to make sure everything is incorporated. (Literally just press it together a bit.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and create a flattened disk. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 to 3 hours (and up to a day).
- 4. Let the refrigerated dough rest on the counter at room temperature for 15 minutes. Butter a 9-inch round tart pan or a 13 3/4-by-4 1/2-inch rectangular tart pan. On a floured work surface or in between lightly floured pieces of parchment paper, carefully roll the dough with a rolling pin in the shape of the tart pan until about 1/4 inch thick. Carefully transfer the crust to the buttered tart pan and gently press the dough against the bottom and sides of the pans, being careful not to stretch the dough at all. Trim any excess dough hanging over the edges and prick holes all over the surface of the dough with the tines of a fork. Wrap the tart pan in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- 5. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- 6. Remove the tart pan from the freezer and discard the plastic wrap. Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet, fit a piece of parchment paper snug against the surface of the dough, and weight the parchment with dried beans or baking weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking weights or beans and parchment paper and bake for another 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool slightly.
- Make the filling
- 7. Turn the oven temperature down to 350°F (177°C). In a small food processor (or with a spoon and a strong arm), process the egg yolks, heavy cream, goat cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, aniseed, and salt until uniform and smooth. Transfer the cheese mixture to the tart and smooth the surface so it evenly fills the crust. Scatter the pistachios on top and then arrange the fig halves across the surface.
- 8. Bake the fig and goat cheese tart for 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with a bit of honey or balsamic.
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Fig Tart Recipe © 2013 Aliya LeeKong. Photo © 2013 Aliya LeeKong. All rights reserved.