Why you make this fig and walnut tart, of course.
As tempted as we were to just eat the figs straight from the container, I was so intrigued by a fig tart recipe I saw recently in Fine Cooking magazine that I had to give one a try. This version is a slight adaptation of the one I saw and it is absolutely stunning. Beautiful to look at, drop-dead tasty, and so easy you'll wonder why you don't make more homemade tarts after giving it a shot.
As there are just a handful of ingredients at work here, it IS essential that you find the best that you can afford. This is especially true when it comes to the figs and the puff pastry. The figs that you buy should be unblemished and pliable. You want them to be soft and give a little when you give them a gentle squeeze. If they're hard they aren't ripe, if squishy, then they're past their peak.
As for the pastry, Dufour is really the only commercially made (and fairly readily available brand) that I've found that even closely approximates the glory of homemade puff pastry. As I'm fairly certain that most of you would rather be drawn and quartered before attempting to make your own puff pastry, please do make an effort to search out Dufour in your area, you'll be amply rewarded for your efforts. It's all-butter goodness will elevate this tart from good to sublime.
Beyond these two ingredients all you'll need is some goat cheese, some fig jam (mine came from my sister-in-law and was made from figs from her own trees…how cool is that!), a few walnuts and some honey, rosemary, and salt. Prepare to be amazed at how much joy so few ingredients can bring you.
Ok….let's make this thing, shall we?
Cheers – Steve
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (or about 1/2 of the single sheet if using Dufour)
- 5 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons fig jam
- 12 ripe, Calimyrna (or other) figs, stemmed and quartered
- 1/4 cup chopped, lightly roasted walnuts
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
- light sprinkling of kosher salt
- Heat the oven to 475℉ and place a rack in the center position.
- Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on your work surface and lightly dust it with flour. Place the pastry sheet on top, sprinkle the top with a little flour, then roll it into a 10" x 12" rectangle. Fold the pastry inward along each edge to create a 3/4 " double thick border to act as a crust for the tart. Prick the bottom of the interior of the tart with a fork at about 1/2" intervals.
- Place the parchment and the pastry onto a rimmed baking sheet and put it in the oven to cook for 8 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix the goat cheese and fig jam until soft.
- Let the pastry cool slightly, then spread the cheese onto the pastry, inside of the border you've created. Top the cheese evenly with the fig quarters, chopped nuts, and rosemary. Sprinkle the whole thing lightly with just a touch of salt and place it back in the oven for 7-8 minutes.
- Remove the tart from the oven, drizzle with the honey and let it cool slightly, about 10-15 minutes. Eat warm or at room temperature.