I finally stumbled across some figs while on a quest for peaches. Cobbler, I decided, would be just the thing for a late summer afternoon. I never even made it to the stone fruits; these figs were arrayed in luxuriant detail near the market door. I think it was fate.
Of course, I didn’t actually have a recipe for fig pizza or anything like it. When I googled fig pizza, all the recipes that the internet summoned forth were of the savory variety. I’m sure that goat cheese and fig pizza is a fine variation on America’s favorite flatbread, but I wanted a dessert. This fig tart recipe – very slightly adapted from Deborah Madison, and using a pate brise for the crust – is exactly what I was hoping it would be. The custard layer is very light and thin and provides just a hint of sweet, citrusy backdrop for the figs. But it’s the figs that shine, as they ought.
If you’re after more of a traditional custard tart with figs as an accent, you could double or even triple the custard filling.
Fresh Fig Tart with Citrus Custard
Adapted from Deborah Madison
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
8 tablespoons/1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2-4 tablespoons ice water (include ½ teaspoon of vanilla if you don’t have vanilla sugar)
12-16 ripe figs, stemmed (but not peeled) and halved or quartered
1 large egg yolk
½ cup sour cream or crème fraiche (I used sour cream)
2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
zest of one orange
a few drops each of vanilla extract and almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the crust: Whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together in a small bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, fork, food processor, or your hands until the fat is in pea-sized lumps. Sprinkle in the ice water and stir gently until the dough comes together. Turn onto a sheet of plastic wrap, mash into a disc, and let chill for at least a half hour.
Roll out dough into a 9” tart pan. Blind bake at 400 for about ten minutes and remove from oven.
For the filling: Preheat oven to 400. Whisk together the sour cream, egg yolk, brown sugar, orange zest, vanilla and almond extract, and salt. Lay the figs into the partially baked tart shell – you can arrange them prettily or just dump them in. Pour the custard around the figs (not over them. Okay, I poured it over them, and it didn't hurt anything).
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until custard is set and figs are slightly caramelized.
Printable recipe here.