Fresh Fig Tart with Orange Cream

October 22, 2016 § Leave a comment

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I used to not pay much attention to figs, maybe because I was always preoccupied with juicy berries in the summer and crisp apples in the fall. However when a family friend gave us some fresh figs from her fig tree, I was surprised at how delicious they were! When they are ripe, the figs are creamy, sweet, and have a beautiful pink or deep red color inside. They make a great healthy snack or you can do as I do and put them on top of a tart filled with orange cream and pretend your dessert is healthier because it has fruit on it. To each their own.

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This tart has become one of my favorites! My relatives were coming over to my house for dinner and I wanted to make a dessert that wasn’t too heavy but would be a nice, sweet ending to the meal. I normally gravitate towards berries but I wanted to be mindful of the season and then I stumbled upon this great recipe for a fig tart.

The crust is perfectly buttery but isn’t so flaky to the point that it falls apart when you try to slice into it. It is also really simple to make as it doesn’t require chilling or rolling, which gets the tart onto your plate and into your mouth that much faster. Even if you haven’t had luck with a traditional tart or pie dough, you can definitely make this one – trust me!

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The original recipe filled the tart with a lemon curd that was emulsified with lots of butter to create a light, creamy filling. If you’re thinking I’m about to say I decreased the amount of butter, you would be mistaken. You need all that butter for the right consistency! However instead of lemon juice, I simply switched it out for freshly squeezed orange juice.

The hint of orange flavor in the filling with the fresh figs on top help maintain the lightness of this dish (despite all the butter – so sneaky). I drizzled some honey on top of the figs for some added depth of flavor and shine.

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This tart combines simple flavors to create something beautiful and sophisticated. I absolutely love the deep red color of the figs on top, which pops in contrast to the pale filling. I know you’ll fall in love with this tart too when you make it. Even my brother, who was skeptical at first, couldn’t stop himself from getting another slice!

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Fresh Fig Tart with Orange Cream

Yield: One 8-inch tart

Adapted from Hummingbird High and Tartine Bakery

Ingredients:

Brown Butter Tart Shell

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 oz unbleached all-purpose flour

Orange Cream Filling and Fig Topping

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature (easier to separate the yolk and white while the egg is cold though)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar ??
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pint ripe figs
  • Honey for drizzling

 

Directions:

Brown Butter Tart Shell

Preheat oven to 410°F. Put butter, water, oil, sugar, and salt in a medium oven-safe bowl. Place bowl in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the mixture is boiling and butter is browned.

Remove bowl from the oven (leave the oven on) and quickly add flour, a tablespoon at a time, and stir to combine with a rubber spatula. Don’t worry if the mixture bubbles or smokes! The dough should pull away from the side of the bowl and have a similar texture as mashed potatoes.

When the dough is cool enough to touch, transfer it to an 8-inch tart pan and spread dough evenly on the bottom and sides of the pan. Poke the crust with a fork to help prevent air bubbles.

Bake crust for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Orange Cream Filling

Fill a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan with two inches of water. Heat water over medium heat so that it comes to a simmer.

In a glass bowl that can fit on top of the saucepan, combine orange juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and salt. Place the bowl over the simmering water to create a double boiler, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk the mixture until very thick and reaches 180°F, about 10-12 minutes. Make sure to be constantly whisking otherwise the texture of the cream will be grainy instead of smooth!

Remove bowl from the heat and let cool to 140°F, stirring gently occasionally to release heat. Then use an immersion blender to blend the butter a few cubes at a time into the orange curd, blending well after each addition so the butter is fully incorporated before adding more. The mixture should become thicker and more opaque as you mix in the butter.

Once all the butter is fully incorporated, place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

Assembly

When you are ready to serve the tart, evenly spread the orange cream mixture into the cooled tart shell using a rubber or offset spatula. Decorate with sliced figs and drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.

 

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