90 per cent of the time, I eat as healthy as possible, because I love the way my body feels when I eat less sugar, eat more vegetables, and don’t use dairy. However, it’s the holidays, and we all know what that means…Sometimes, you’ve just got to splurge a little, you know? Here’s a very different, delicious tart, which showcases the beauty of the fig. It’s wonderful!
16 ripe figs, using a mixed variety is fine and suggested
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup Crème fraîche
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons orange flower water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter (you can use Earth Balance)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract mixed with 2 teaspoons ice water
LET’S GET BAKING!
Making the tart first, you use a mixer with a paddle attachment or a food processor. Blend together the flour, salt and sugar, and work in the butter until course crumbs are formed. Add the vanilla with just enough ice water for the dough to come together. Shape this into a disk, put it in a zip-loc and chill for 15 minutes.
Next, roll the dough into a 10-inch circle and drape it over a 9-inch tart pan that has a removable rim. Make sure you work all of the edges with your finger, so that the dough stands about 1/4 inch above the rim. It also needs to be about 1/4 inch thick. Prick the bottom with a fork in 6-7 places, then freeze for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
NEVER throw your scraps away. SAVE them. Place the frozen tart shell on a sheet and bake until it’s lightly colored–check at around 15 minutes. Prick any bubbles you see forming with a toothpick or the tip of a knife. When finished baking, if you see any holes in the dough, you can mend them with saved extra dough.
FOR THE FILLING
Lower the oven temperature to 375. Rinse the figs, cut off the stems, and slice them lengthwise in half. Set them cut side up on the tart shell, arranging them to perfection. Place the figs as close as you can, so that there are little (if any gaps) between the figs. Mix the egg yolk, Crème fraîche, brown sugar, and orange flower water together, then carefully pour it around (NOT ON TOP) the figs. Bake until the custard is lightly colored and set (about 30 minutes). Remove the tart from the pan and set it on a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve slightly warm. It’s so yummy!
Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: