Fig Tart With Almond Crust

Fig Tart
cover of the KIWI Fall 2022 issue

Ingredients


Makes 12 servings

for the crust

butter, for the tart pan

2 teaspoons aniseeds

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small cubes

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon cold water

FOR THE CUSTARD

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

4 fresh sage leaves

1 teaspoon aniseeds, crushed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

for the topping

12 ripe black or green figs

24 whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted

2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

If you want to cook like a chef, it might be time to make friends with a farmer. In his gorgeous new book, America—Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers, Mario Batali insists that great meals come from amazing ingredients, not fancy cooking methods. Batali and co-author Jim Webster go on to profile 14 inspiring farmers from around the country, and then offer recipes that use their signature product. For example, we learn that farmer and horticulturalist Jon Chodacki of Unce Orchard in Las Vegas has found that figs thrive on his land because the trees’ leaves protect the delicate figs from the desert heat. Here, Batali offers a recipe for a holiday-perfect fig tart.

Directions

1. To make the crust, preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 10-inch tart pan.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almonds with the aniseeds, breaking them into coarse crumbs. Add the flour, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt and pulse 10 to 12 times to create coarse crumbs.

3. Add the egg and pulse 8 to 10 times, just until the pastry begins to come together.

4. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a ball.

5. Flatten the ball with a floured rolling pin, and press the dough into the bottom and sides of the prepared tart pan.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

7. Prick the surface of the pastry all over with a fork. Bake the crust for 12 to 14 minutes until it is firm and pale golden brown, then remove from the oven and let cool.

8. Bake the crust for 12 to 14 minutes until it is firm and pale golden brown, then remove from the oven and let cool.

9. To make the custard, in a medium saucepan, combine the cream, sage, and aniseeds and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

10. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until reduced by one-third.

11. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

12. Pour the cream through a strainer into a bowl to remove the sage and anise; discard the solids left in the strainer.

13. Add the egg and confectioners’ sugar to the cream, blending carefully.

14. Halve the figs lengthwise and stuff each fig half with an almond.

15. Lay the stuffed figs, cut side up, in the pastry shell.

16. Pour the custard over and around the figs.

17. Dust the top with the brown sugar and bake the tart for 35 minutes, or until the custard is set.

18. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

19. Carefully remove the tart from the pan and let the tart cool for 20 minutes more before serving.

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