Monday, November 05, 2012

Fresh Fig Tarts with Pastry Cream and Walnut Crust

I love the taste and smell of figs especially Mission figs. It is earthy and mildly sweet and I can’t resist buying two boxes of it when I saw them at the Asian supermarket. Then I fall sick and it has been sitting in the fridge for 2 weeks and I finally get to do something with it late last week. Thank god they were all still good except for one of it.

I never tasted fresh fig until I came to America over 15 years ago. It was at the New York Union Square farmers market. I bought a box of it out of curiosity and fell in love with it ever since. I will always buy some when it is in season. Normally I will just have it fresh with yogurt with a bit of honey but this time I decided to make some tarts and garnish it with these fresh beauties. It's almost too pretty to eat but we are not letting this creation go to waste, though and we devour them up in no time ;)

Ingredients for the Crust:

½ cup ground walnut
1 ½ cups flour
6 tbsp cold butter – cut into cubes
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
3-4 tbsp ice water

1. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt and ground walnuts. Give it a few pulses and add in the butter and pulse until the butter pieces are no larger than small peas.
2. Drizzle 3 tbsp of the ice water over the flour mixture and pulse to combine. Squeeze a small piece of dough; if it doesn’t hold together, add 1 Tbsp. more ice water and pulse to combine.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times, just until it comes together. Press the dough into a well greased 9” tart pan or 6-8 small tart pans. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and bake for 25-30 min or until brown and the dough is cooked. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool.

Ingredients for Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scrape off the seeds
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Bring the milk, half of the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla bean to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat.
2. Whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/8 cup of sugar. Add the egg yolks to the cornstarch and mix into a smooth paste.
3. Slowly, and in small amounts, whisk a little by little of the hot milk into the egg mixture. This is to temper the eggs, which need to get them to the same temperature of the hot milk so it won’t curdle. Once it is done, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return the custard to the stove.
4. In low heat, bring to a boil, whisking continuously. When the pastry cream is done remove from heat and add in the butter. Whisk until smooth.
5. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Let it cool down before using.

To assemble the tart:

10 – 12 mission figs
3 tbsp apricot jam

Pour the pastry cream into the prepared crust. Slice the figs and layer them over the pastry cream. Warm up the apricot jam in the microwave oven for 25 seconds, mix well and brush it all over the figs. Serve cold and enjoy!


ann low said...

These fig tarts look so lovely! I also fell in love with the fresh figs when I'd them for the first time. I'm going to get some dried figs soon.

Shereen said...

Every season, I would get a few kilos of figs from a friend as she has a fig orchard but you know lar the boys:( Yes, those tarts look so fab but sadly, I can only look and see... no chance to try out this recipe!

Anonymous said...

i love californian black mission figs too!!! they are much sweeter than the Israeli varieties. But their season is so short :(

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

bought very cheap fresh fig one time only, no more seeing selling, i think tak laku kua, hehehe.

QembarDelites said...

I did bake a cake with figs recently when someone brought some figs back for me from UK. These looks more redish than the ones I had...lovely!

Cuisine Paradise said...

I love fig tarts and your look absolutely delicious. Will try your recipes once i get hold of some fresh fig.

PH said...

Gorgeous tarts! Can't find fresh figs here, only dried ones :(

WendyinKK said...

Although they are sold here now, I never bought any. Next time I will

ICook4Fun said...

Ann, thank you. I prefer the fresh ones than the dried fig.

Shereen, so what you do with the few kilos? Make jam? You can always make some tarts for yourself.

Alan, yes I prefer the mission than the one green ones :)

Sonia, over here if it is in season they are very cheap. I think not many people have try fresh figs back home.

Jeannie, I've tried a few kinds of fig but I still find this one taste better.

Ellena, thank you.

Phong Hong, thank you. I think you might be able to get in now in KL.

Wendy, yea you should buy some the next time you sees it :)