Introduction: Fig Tart
If you are lucky enough to have access to a fig tree (or to a supermarket with fresh figs) then you absolutely MUST make this pie. Every summer I impatiently wait for the figs to ripen, and when they finally do I never tire of making this. It is as delicious as it is beautiful.
Step 1: Figs
There are many varieties of figs. The ones I used here are green and so tender there is no need to peel them... They are best when they are soft, squishy and bursting right out of their skin. I'll eat them right off the tree, but I'm careful to avoid the white latex which drips off the stem when picked. That stuff not only taste bitter, it is also very sticky, hard to wash off, and makes my skin itch.
To make this pie you will need at least a pint, but I like to stuff as many figs as can fit in the crust.
Step 2: Ingredients
Like most good things in life, this pie requires a stick of butter. Here's a list of all the ingredients:
For the pie crust:
1 sticks (8 tablespoons or 1/4 pound) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 pinch salt
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
For the filling:
A pint, or about 8-10 fresh figs (can be more depending on the size of the figs... mine were fairly large).
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon flour
Step 3: Pie Crust
Of course you can always buy a ready-made crust, but this recipe is almost as easy as pulling a frozen crust out of its plastic wrap and it is much, much tastier:
Preheat oven to 350°F
Melt one stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter and let cool
Combine melted butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and pinch of salt and blend with a spoon.
Gradually add 1 1/4 cup flour till you form a smooth, soft dough with a consistency similar to cookie dough
Place in center of pan and press down with fingertips as evenly as possible on bottom and sides of the pan
Bake in the center of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, till it's lightly browned. You do not need to prick or weigh this crust.
Step 4: Filling
Cut the stem tip off the figs then slice them in half. Cut two or three figs into eights and use these wedges to fill in the space between the figs halves as you arrange them in the cooked pie shell. Fill the shell with the figs, with the flat cut surface facing up.
Lightly beat the egg then whisk in the 1/2 cup cream, honey, vanilla and flour. Pour this mixture evenly over the figs, then bake at 350° F for about 50 to 60 minutes, till the cream is firm and golden brown.
Best served warm.
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