It may not be October 1st just yet, but this lady is already in the pumpkin mindset. Early this morning I went on an impromptu Trader Joe’s run- a dangerous mission for anyone in a hungry state of mind. When I entered the store, my senses were assaulted- in the best way possible- with all things pumpkin. Being the pumpkin addict that I am, I walked out with Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Tea, Pumpkin Soup, and Pumpkin Breakfast/Snack Bars. I do not regret any of my purchases. :)
All of this pumpkin goodness reminded me that the days of summer are truly coming to an end, along with the glorious produce that stretches out into the first few weeks of fall. Including another one of my beloved food addictions: figs. I adore figs just as much as I adore pumpkin things. Truth.
Thus, I felt compelled to share with you a lovely dessert tart recipe that centers figs as the main star. The recipe comes from David Lebovitz’s gorgeous book Ready for Dessert. The tart consists of a delectable almond crust, which is then filled with figs and raspberries which are in turn sweetened with a drizzle of honey. It’s actually quite a simple affair for how darn fantastic the tart looks in the end.
I must admit, this dessert was a bit of failure in final execution…but none of that failure had to with taste or presentation. Instead, the failure resulted from me ignoring the recommendation to make this tart in a tart pan with a removable bottom. Silly me thought the tart would slide out just as easily from a regular old pie pan. Yeah…that didn’t happen. As already mentioned, the dessert was beautiful and delicious nonetheless.
Visually, this dessert is truly a showstopper. It also tastes fantastic, and is actually quite quick to assemble. However, I must stress that you make it in a tart pan with a removable bottom so you do not end up with a beautiful, delicious tart stuck in a pie pan! Make this tart while the figs are still around; I feel confident you will be happy you chose to do so.
Fresh Fig and Raspberry Tart with Honey
Recipe from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert
For the tart dough:
- 1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (40 grams) sliced blanched almonds
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled, plus more for the dish
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
For the filling:
- 1/4 cup (65 grams) raspberry jam (with seeds or seedless)
- 12 ripe figs
- 1 1/4 cups (6 ounces/170 grams) raspberries
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) honey, warmed
- Make the tart dough
- 1. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, grind the flour, almonds, sugar, and salt until the almonds are very fine and powdery. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is in very small pieces about the size of grains of rice. (Be careful not to over-process the mixture or the resulting crust will become dense and tough.)
- 2. Add the egg yolks and the almond extract to the processor, then let the machine run just until the dough starts to come together. (Again, be careful not to over-process the dough.) Transfer the dough to a work surface, knead it briefly with your hands until smooth, then press the dough into a disk.
- 3. Very lightly butter a 9-inch (23 centimeter) tart pan with a removable bottom. Transfer the disk of dough to the pan. Using your hands, lightly press the dough as evenly as possible into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Freeze the dough-lined tart pan for at least 30 minutes.
- 4. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- 5. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet and prick the frozen tart dough about 10 times with a fork. Line the dough with a sheet of aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the tart shell on the baking sheet until the dough is set, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights and continue to bake until the tart shell is deep golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Let cool completely.
- Make the tart filling
- 6. Spread the raspberry jam over the cooled tart shell in an even layer.
- 7. Trim the hard stem ends from the figs and quarter each fig lengthwise. Arrange the figs in the tart shell in 2 concentric circles, cut sides up, fitting the figs snugly against the sides of the tart shell and each other. Arrange the raspberries snugly in the center of the tart. Drizzle the warm honey over the tart.
- 8. Remove the tart pan sides from the tart pan bottom by setting the tart on an overturned bowl or other tall, wide surface (a large can of tomatoes works well). Gently press down on the outer ring and let it fall to the counter top. Set the tart on a flat surface. Release the tart from the pan bottom by sliding the blade of a knife between the crust and the pan bottom, then slip the tart onto a serving plate. (If it doesn’t release cleanly, simply serve the tart on the pan bottom.)