Macheesmo

Cooking with Confidence
The prettiest thing I've ever made?
Desserts, Vegetarian

Fresh Fig Tart

by Nick

Sometimes, and this is one of those times, I’m not entirely clear on the difference between a pie and a tart. I know, generally, the difference between the two (I think). Pies are usually deeper, have a flaky crust, and are normally served in the pan they are baked in. Tarts meanwhile have a more firm crust. They usually have straight edges, are more shallow, and are usually removed from their pans before serving.

As far as I can tell that’s the difference.

Even with all of that, I had no idea whether this fig thing I made was a pie or a tart. It was made in a pie dish, and I used a pie crust recipe, but it had a very tart feel to it. So I’m not really sure what to do about it. Anyway, it’s a tart for now. But feel free to call it a fresh fig pie if that makes more sense to you.

Whatever you call it, it’s really tasty.

It’s kind of hard to find fresh figs unless you happen to be in California where they are pretty abundant during the summer months. Don’t fret though if you can’t find any good ones at your store. You could substitute any berries I think for the figs. If you don’t use figs though, you might want to up the sugar in the filling a bit. The filling is not particularly sweet because the figs are really sweet.

Yield
1 tart.
Prep Time
Total Time
Print Recipe

Fresh Fig Tart

Fresh Fig Tart

Ingredients

  • 8-10 fresh figs, cut into sixths
  • 6 ounces (approximately) of fresh raspberries
  • 1 Cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Rum Butter Sauce:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup dark rum (I used light rum and I think it would be better with dark.)
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • Almond Pie Crust (Adapted from Simply Recipes version)
  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup almonds, ground into flour
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 Stick) butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sugar
  • 1 - 3 Tablespoons very cold water

Directions

1) Grind your almonds into a flour in a food processor or you could use a mortar and pestle.

2) Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

3) Cut in the butter and slowly add the water.

4) Roll this into a ball and then stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

5) Roll it out onto a lightly floured surface.

6) Transfer dough to a normal pie pan, poke a bunch of holes in the bottom and around the sides with a fork to make sure the crust doesn’t puff up while baking.

7) Put a layer of parchment paper in the bottom of the pie and filled it up with black beans. The helps keep some weight on it so it stays nice and thin.

8) Bake this at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden brown. As soon as you pull it out of the oven, gently lift the black beans out of the pie. If the bottom is still kind of soggy, bake for 5 more minutes. The crust needs to be completely cooked before filling it.

9) After it comes out and is golden brown, make sure to cool it completely before filling.

10) Add the cream to a large bowl and whisk until it begins to turn stiff.

11) Gently stir or fold in the ricotta and all the spices.

12) Once it is all mixed up, you can fill the pie crust with the mixture. Make sure the pie crust is completely cool before filling it.

13) Wash the fruit and dry them thoroughly. Make sure to use only very ripe figs for this.

14) Roughly chop fruit and arrange around pie on top of filling.

15) Melt the butter in a sauce pan and stir in the sugar, rum, and water. Let that simmer together and reduce until the sugar is completely dissolved. Maybe 5 minutes. It should be slightly syrupy.

16) Let it cool before coating the dessert. Just drizzle it on the fruit-topped dessert.


Forming the crust

This is very much a pie crust recipe which really shifts the debate toward “pie” for this dessert. To start, grind your almonds into a flour in a food processor or you could use a mortar and pestle. You can also buy almond flour in some specialty stores. Combine all your dry ingredients in a bowl.

Pretty dry.

Pretty dry.

Next, cut in your butter and slowly add your water. I found that this dough came together really easily. Easier than a normal pie crust. I think it might be because the almonds are kind of oily and they give a bit more moisture to the dough than just flour.

At some point you’ll end up with a mixture that will easily hold together if you press it.

Kind of crumby.

Kind of crumby.

Roll this into a ball and then stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes. That will keep the butter into nice chunks. Then roll it out onto a lightly floured surface.

Again, I found this pie crust recipe to roll out very easily which may mean that my version was too moist. I thought the final product was very good though.

A very easy dough to roll out.

A very easy dough to roll out.

I used just a normal pie pan for this because that’s what I had on hand. I poked a bunch of holes in the bottom and around the sides with a fork to make sure that it doesn’t puff up while baking.

Poking prevents puffing.

Poking prevents puffing.

After doing that, I was still worried that it was going to puff up while baking so I put a layer of parchment paper in the bottom of the pie and filled it up with black beans. The helps keep some weight on it so it stays nice and thin.

Helpful??

Helpful??

Bake this at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden brown. As soon as you pull it out of the oven, gently lift the black beans out of the pie. If the bottom is still kind of soggy, bake for 5 more minutes. The crust needs to be completely cooked before filling it.

After it comes out and is golden brown, make sure to cool it completely before filling.

As an aside, this bean thing may be unnecessary. I read somewhere that it helps and so I thought I would give it a try. It worked well, but I also think that it may have worked fine just by poking some holes in the dough with a fork.

The Filling

This filling is really simple. Add your cream to a large bowl and whisk until it begins to turn stiff. Also known as whipped cream people. Don’t over whip it or you’ll be staring at a bowl of butter.

Then gently stir or fold in your ricotta and all the spices. Adjust this to your tastes, but I found this to be a good balance. The filling was really light but still had some spice to it. When mixing in the ricotta and spices try to keep it really light. Gentle is good here.

Kind of winged this.

Kind of winged this.

Once it is all mixed up, you can fill your pie crust with the mixture. It should fit perfectly.

Very important

Make sure your pie crust is completely cool before filling it. In fact, I put mine in the fridge so it was actually cold. If it is at all warm, your filling will just melt like ice cream on asphalt.

Filled up.

Filled up.

The Fruits

Wash your fruit and dry them thoroughly. Make sure to use only very ripe figs for this. I actually bought more than I needed so I could be sure to only use the best ones in the bunches.

Left over figs are usually not a problem.

Figs are good.

Figs are good.

As you can see from the first picture I got a bit carried away with arranging my fruit on the dessert. Feel free to throw them on there however you want.

The Rum Butter Glaze

There is a very light glaze that goes on top of this dessert. Basically, just melt the butter in a sauce pan and stir in the sugar, rum, and water. Let that simmer together and reduce until the sugar is completely dissolved. Maybe 5 minutes. It should be slightly syrupy.

Let it cool before coating the dessert. Just drizzle it on your fruit-topped dessert.

Very refreshing!

Very refreshing!

This was very good and at the end of the day it reminds me much more of a tart than a pie which is why I called it a tart.

Thanks very much to reader Bethany for sending me the idea for this recipe. It was kind of an original idea and we went back and forth on crust options and fillings before I settled on this version.