2012/01/29

The crust stole the show... (Fresh Fig & Marscapone Tart w/ Rosemary Cornmeal Crust)

One night a couple of months ago, while The Karate Kid was at karate lessons and I was supposed to be working out at the gym... Or something like that...



I was wandering through the grocery store and came across the miracle of all miracles. Figs. Fresh figs. Not dried figs. Whole. Fresh. Beautiful. Figs.

I am not sure how they ended up in a grocery store in Upstate NY. And at that particular branch. (I can't even get rye flour at that location, how in the name of Maestro did they end up with a flat of figs? Seriously.)

But they were there. And the flat was almost untouched. (I don't think anyone knew what they were, frankly.)

After I walked through, the flat was, um, kind of empty. I had no idea what I was going to do with all those figs. But use them I would. These unexpected finds bring on that rush of adrenaline and get me antsy to be back in the kitchen. 

Sadly, sometimes the creating doesn't always translate into posting. So, most of my fun with figs is lost to the sands of time. However, I did manage to document one of my favorites - but I must note that in this instance, it was the crust that enchanted me more than what should have been the star ingredient. 

Hello, rosemary-cornmeal crust. I think I love you...


This dessert started out being about the figs. But the crust stole the show. 

Which is weird, because I am usually the person that eats the filling and pawns off the crust on the first willing person who likes crust. A total role reversal for me.

I don't know if it was the crunch of the cornmeal or the aromatic rosemary. Or the almost shortbread like density of the crust. Somehow, I had no expectations that the combination would have such an effect on me. But it did. I was totally hooked.

I think I might even have scraped off the topping on my second slice and just ate the crust. I won't confirm that such a thing happened. But it could have...

 

Fresh Fig Tart w/ Rosemary Cornmeal Crust & Lemon Marscarpone Cream
Minimally Adapted from Epicurious.com

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 1/2 Cups Unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coarse ground yellow cornmeal
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter - cold & cut into 16 pieces
1 Tbs roughly chopped fresh rosemary (if you are not using a food processor, chop this more finely)
1/2 cup cold water, with a few ice cubes in it (you will only need about 4-5 Tbs of the water)

Filling:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup marscarpone cheese
1/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs red currant jelly
1 Tbs honey
3/4 pound fresh figs*

*The original recipe called for 1 1/2 pound figs, which created a thick fig layer on top of the tart. I halved it, which made the filling and crust take more of center stage. Other fresh fruits would be nice here as well.

Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt until well blended. Add rosemary pulse a couple of times, then add butter, a few pieces at a time pulsing between each addition. Stop when mixture resembles a coarse blend - some pea size lumps should be evident. Drizzle with 4 Tbs of the ice water, then pulse until mixture just begins to hold together. (Pinch together a small amount between your fingers to see if it hold together, if it does not, pulse in additional water - 1 teaspoon at a time. Test after each addition. You shouldn't need to add much more than a Tablespoon.)

Press dough into a 9" or 10" tart pan with a removable bottom. Use the back of a spoon (or the bottom of a glass) to smooth dough in the bottom of the pan. Loosely cover and set in refrigerator to chill - at least 30 minutes, but can rest as long as overnight.

When ready, preheat oven to 400F. Place chilled crust in pre-heated oven (center rack) and bake about 25-30 minutes (until edges are golden and bottom is lightly firm to the touch). The bottom might crack a little, that's okay. Remove baked crust from oven and cool in pan on a rack. 

Stir together sour cream, marscarpone, sugar and lemon zest into a bowl and set aside. Heat together honey and currant jam until melted. Slice figs into thin (~1/4 inch slices) and set aside.

Remove sides from tart pan. Spread cream mixture into tart. Arrange figs on top. Brush figs with currant-honey glaze.

Best when served immediately. 

12 comments:

  1. I am totally loving this..YUMMY

    Aarthi
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

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  2. What a fantastic looking tart! Love the way the slices of fig look!

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  3. Fresh figs here is a right-place-right-time kind of thing that alludes me. No fresh figs for me this season, yet.

    I love crust, but I'm very crust picky. So, I'm intrigued that you, a non-crust aficionado, found one to recommend!

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  4. This looks like such an interesting mix of flavours - everything looks do well fitted together :D
    Yum!
    Wonderful blog and glad to have found it!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself
    Latest: Fresh Fruit Tart

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  5. What a find! I like the crust recipe, sounds like the perfect compliment to your figs, lucky girl!

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  6. I adore figs and would love a slice of your beautiful tart. I guess I'll have to wait till I come upon some figs of my own. Very nice!

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  7. I MUST TRY THIS! Fresh figs and a rosemary, cornmeal crust with lemon - where have you been all my life?

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  8. What an exciting find! Fresh figs are one of my favorite foods, and one that I really only discovered in the past 5 years or so. My favorites are the little green ones, but I like the purple ones as well. The trouble is that I rarely have the willpower to leave the darn things alone long enough to get them into a recipe. This tart looks absolutely delicious though.

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  9. My husband neglected my baby fig tree while I was in Serbia, and all its leaves fell off. This is the third time it has happened and I am not hoping for a harvest any time soon. You finding fresh figs right now in NY is a miracle and I am glad you managed to enjoy them.
    I am very intrigued by the rosemary cornmeal crust, as it can be adapted to any toppings.

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  10. I've been scratching my head on a reasonable pie crust substitute for this week's FFwD. If I had enough time to pull one of those yummy cornmeal rosemary crusts off, I would. Long live month-end....

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  11. Um....holy mackerel??? That photo is so beautiful I don't know where to begin, aside from "cut me a slice !!!" Seriously, that is an exquisite looking dish. WOW. I, on the other hand..have been busy cleaning and organizing the basement and vowed that I would not do comments (or anything else that is procrastination from said basement objective) until I was all caught up. Phew. let's just say I deserve a slice of that pie :) And your potatoes looked great. Enjoyed reading about the study sessions. I spent Xmas and early Jan reading college essays. Shocked that after all those years of waiting and planning...I disliked reading the essays so much I began to question whether I really did care where he ended up :)

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  12. Your tart looks beautiful! I love cornmeal and rosemary, but would never have thought to put them together. What a great idea.

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