I made this Fig and Mascarpone Tart over the weekend.
It wasn’t planned…. it just sort of happened. I think it’s fun to get creative in the kitchen and use what’s on hand.
But to be honest I did buy the figs, they weren’t exactly on hand. I can’t help myself when I see them in the markets. I want to take them all home with me – It’s a weakness.
I guess you could say I was inspired by 2 cartons of fresh figs. I had no idea what I was going to do with and them. I thought I could make my Fig and Goat Cheese Bread or this Fig Galette or maybe I just make my Prosciutto with Figs and Mascarpone.
Note: Mascarpone is an Italian cheese made from cream. It is the main ingredient in Tiramisu and other Italian desserts. Sometimes it is used to thicken and enrich risottos.
In the stores you will most likely see Black Mission, Brown Turkey figs, and in June or August the Adriatic Figs, which are the green ones. I used a combination of Black Mission and Adriatic Figs for this Fig and Mascarpone Tart.
Types of Figs:
They are pale green to yellow and have pink to brilliant red insides and an extra-sweet flavor. They are harvested in June and again in August.
Black Mission Figs:
Black Mission figs are blackish-purple and are very sweet. They are perfect for serving by themselves or with yogurt, or mascarpone, fromage blanc, or farmers cheese for dessert.
Brown Turkey Figs:
Brown Turkey figs are brownish with a touch of purple. They have a milder flavor and are less sweet than the the other figs. They are good for salads or in desserts where a sweetener will be used.
A Few Tips when you are Shopping for Figs:
What to Look For: Fresh Figs are fragile so they will not be perfect. The fig’s stem should give a little when bent and the skin should have a slight wear to it. This indicates a full ripe flavorful fig.
What to Avoid: Avoid figs that are oozing, look shrunken, have milky liquid around the stem, or are over squishy. If the figs are in a container check the container for any signs of molding.
How to Store: Figs are best at room temperature in a well ventilated area. You can refrigerate fresh figs to last a little longer but note that it will lack a bit in flavor. In general you should plan on eating or using your figs within a day or two of buying them.
- 170 grams (1 ¼ cup) of All-purpose flour, sifted
- 100 grams (7 tbsp) chilled butter
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) of granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 egg yolk lightly beaten
- 1-2 tbsp of ice water
- 8 oz of Mascarpone Cheese at room-temperature
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, very cold
- 4 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
- 1 Jar of Fig Jam
- 2 Containers Fresh Figs
- Orange Blossom Honey to drizzle
- Pre-Heat oven to Conventional 350 Fahrenheit or 180 Celsius
- Sift the flour once more with the salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
- Cut the chilled butter into pieces and add it to the flour. Lightly rub the butter into the flour with the tips of your fingers lifting it and letting it sprinkle back down until you have a fine crumb like mixture.
- Add the sugar + lemon zest to the bowl and stir in using a fork making sure that it is well blended.
- Next mix the egg yolk with the water until well blended and drizzle it over the mixture stirring continuously with a fork or an icing spatula.
- You will notice the mixture starting to stick together at this point start to lightly use the hills of your hands pressing the dough together to form a round ball. The swifter you can be the better and easier this ball starts to form.
- Knead briefly on flour surfaced until smooth.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill over night or for at least for 1 hour before you use it.
- Press the dough out into your tart pan.
- Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork.
- Next, line with a single sheet of wax paper and fill with a thin layer of dried beans or ceramic pie weights.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until a little golden. All ovens are different so keep an eye on it.
- Once the crust is baked set aside and let it cool.
- Using a hand-mixer or stand-up mixer with the whisk attachment, on medium speed, blend together the mascarpone cheese and 2 tbsp of the powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside in another bowl.
- In a mixing bowl add the heavy whipping cream and the remaining sugar and blend on high-speed just until stiff peaks form, about a minute or two.
- Turn the mixer off and carefully fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Add the vanilla extract and gently stir to combine.
- Spread a light layer of fig jam onto the pie crust.
- Dollop the Mascarpone Whipped Cream on top.
- Arrange your sliced figs on top.
- Drizzle with Honey and you are ready to serve.
- Note: Let the pastry come back to room temperature and knead again before pressing it out into your pan.