Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fig, Mascarpone, and Pistachio Tart



Given that nearly every stall at the farmers' market this past weekend was brimming with figs, I'd say that it's officially fig season here.  Swoon!  The arrival of figs marks one of my favorite food seasons--late summer and early autumn.  I swear that this cross-over time has some of the best produce ever: melons, tomatoes, berries, stone fruit, peppers, apples, pears, winter squashes.  Basically, any foodie's dream.


Since I missed fig season last year due to my finger surgery, I've been *itching* for figs to finally come back this season so that I could make this tart, which I've been lusting after since last August: figs, mascarpone+brown sugar filling, and pistachio crust.  Three of the best things packed into one dessert!--sweet and soft figs atop a creamy bed of rich and fluffy mascarpone cheese, sweetened and darkened by just a little brown sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla extract, with a faintly nutty and very buttery pistachio sweet pastry crust.  Oh, and topped with a light glaze of raspberry-apricot jam, like a little touch of sugary sparkle. :-)

[click on photo for a larger image]

The arrival of figs to the markets also marks the beginning of the academic year.  Sigh!  Usually I'm quite happy with everything starting back up, getting back into the grind of things, but this year, summer was just too, too short.  (That's what you get bouncing back and forth between a school on quarter system, which ends for summer break in mid-June, and a school on semester system, which starts for the fall in late August.)  Then, I felt even more cheated out of my final days of summer when, on Monday, one of my professors pointed out (while eating a slice of this tart, coincidentally) my error in thinking that school actually started a week later than it actually does (read: it starts now)!  Ack!  Talk about a rude awakening.

So, I suppose it's fitting to be posting this tart recipe, which I'd planned to post for next week, a week early (by demand of fellow Instagrammers).  Welcome to (early) autumn, folks!


P.S.  If you think I'm going to acquiesce so easily over ending summer this early, think again.  I've still got summer plans, yo.  Stay tuned.  :-)


Read on for recipe....



Fig, Mascarpone, and Pistachio Tart
makes one 9" tart, or six 4.5" tart, or ~32 mini tartlettes

for pastry:
240 gr AP flour
65 gr shelled raw pistachios
50 gr sugar
7 Tbspn butter, cold
1 egg yolk
3-4 Tbspn water, cold

1. In a food processor, combine the flour, pistachios, and sugar and process until the pistachios are finely ground.
2. Using the food processor or a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the size of small peas.
3. Add the egg yolk and gradually add the water just until a dough begins to form when you press it between two fingers. Do not overmix.
4. Form the pastry into a ball and refrigerate for at least one hour. (or stick it in the freezer for a shorter amount of time.)
5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
6. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge and press the dough into the tart pan. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork, cover with parchment paper, and weigh down using dry beans or pie weights. Return to freezer for a few minutes if the dough has softened.
7. Bake for ~13-15 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden. Remove the beans and parchment paper and continue to bake for 3-5 minutes more, until the crust has completely turned golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

for filling:
450 gr mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tspn vanilla extract
freshly grated zest of 1 lemon

1. In a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, whip the mascarpone, brown sugar, and heavy cream on medium high until soft peaks.
2. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest and continue to whip just until stiff peaks. Do not overmix.
3. Spoon the filling into the cooled tart shell, and smooth with a spatula.

for topping:
2 punnets figs
2 Tbspn honey
2 Tbspn raspberry jam (or fig or apricot, or any mixture thereof)

1. Cut the figs into quarters and arrange on top of the mascarpone tart filling.
2. Warm the honey and jam together, either over the stove or in the microwave. Brush over the arranged figs.

(filling recipe adapted from Donna Hay.)



Enjoy!

43 comments:

  1. Such a gorgeous dessert and your photos are beautiful!

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  2. Fig and mascarpone is such a dreamy combination. These are worth making for their pretty-factor alone, I'd say. The baby ones are almost too cute to eat. Almost...

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  3. Are you trying to kill me? Seriously. Figs, pistachios, marscarpone and brown sugar? Four of the best things in the entire world.  

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  4. figs are the MOST beautiful thing in the world...the colors, the visible textures, everything!  beautifully done!

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  5. Your photos are sooo beautiful.

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  6. look really amazing!

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  7. dude, only one thing to say. that fig tart be sexy! so so pretty! 

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  8. Wow, so beautiful and tempting! Your pictures are stunning.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. This dessert looks absolutely beautiful - too good to eat! I love the idea of putting pistachios into the pastry.  Also love that you've allowed the fresh flavour of the figs to shine through - when they are as perfect as this there's no need to cook or play around with them too much. Yum.

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  10. Wow, what a beauty! This is my favorite time of your because I am in LOVE with figs. They pair perfectly with mascarpone...Swooooon.

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  11. Love mascarpone filling for tarts. I do the same!

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  12. Stunning fig tart.  Just beautiful!  The pics look like works of art.

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  13. Oh My God! The first photo...  is the most beautiful fig tart I have ever seen! I want a big slice from this tart. Right now! Can you hear me, Stephanie??? :)

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  14. The Pistachios in pastry is a lovely idea. I must try that! I can only imagine the hue the pastry shell gets. Beautiful photos Steph!

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  15. Your creativity never ceases to just take my breath away, just wow!

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  16. man, this looks awesome. i just love figs. and your photos are gorgeous, as always :) my summer was way too short too - school has a way of doing that to you...

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  17. Absolutely stunning Steph! Not only the images but the flavors combine a few of my favorite ingredients! Lovely!

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  18. I want eat figs so long ! Delicious!

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  19. wow, classic, but still stunning!

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  20. Whoa! This is absolutely beautiful! 

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  21. This tart is a feast - I cann0t stop looking at it and dreaming of the taste of fresh figs...

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  22. How gorgeous is this.  Your food styling/photography really is out of this world!  Have you shot any cookbooks?

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  23. thanks!  I've shot a couple magazine things, but not any cookbooks--would absolutely LOVE to, though!

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  24. Indeed! Usually I don't even get so far as putting figs on a tart--they just go straight into my mouth.

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  25. Wow. Such a gorgeous tart. And what incredible photos, too! I am definitely going to have to give this a try.

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  26. I couldn't agree more, this transition from summer to fall is a foodie's dream. I love this time of year, and all the lovely figs....this tart is just dreamy!

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  27. Errr, wow, this is a real sight to behold! Have you got any leftovers? ;)

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  28. Absolutely gorgeous tart. Your photos are magazine spread-worthy! 

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  29. It's a beautiful tart--in every size! The fig sound delicious with the mascarpone filling too.

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  30. Cara Nipotina il pistacchio NO! i fichi sono molto meglio i fichi secchi di Cosenza tagliati a metà
    e caramellati con un liquore a piacere Brendi,Porto dolce.Passito o qualsiasi altro.
    Ciao bimba zio JO

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  31. Andrea {From the Bookshelf}September 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Absolutely spectacular!

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  32. Question: I attempted to make this today, and when making the filling the oddest thing happened.  Within in seconds, the liquid separated out of the cream and I ended up with a cheesy butter.   It started out fine, and I turned my back and then boom!  liquid was spraying out at me.  I had my mixer on for no more than 20 seconds, if that.  Any idea what might have happened?
     

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  33. My goodness!  I have no idea why that happened...?!  Are you using heavy cream?

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  34. I loved this post. It just looks so scrumptious. And who can resist a juicy, tender fig!

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  35. yup heavy cream, and everything was cold.  I guess I just had some bad luck.   I really liked the tart shell though! :)

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  36. Absolutely stunning presentation!! Gorgeous photos!

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  37. This is really beautiful food art. 

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  38. Today I've made your tart. It has resulted espectacular!!!! Beautiful, smart and very good. Thanks for be inspiration.
    You can see it in http://aprilskitch.blogspot.com/2011/09/la-cocina-de-los-otros-tartas-de.html
    Kisses
    April's Kitch

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  39. This looks so scrumptious that it's completely stopped me in my tracks. Drooling. 

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  40. beautiful photos! this is making the rounds on pinterest and I have to click through to see the whole post.  Nice work :)

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I love hearing from you and reading your comments! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Happy feasting!

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