I had an unexpected gifts from my friend last week; her son came up to me and handed me fresh Calimyrna figs in a plastic container. "From my grandma's garden," that's all he said. That instant I gushed out thank-yous. His mom definitely knows my taste and I'm happier to receive these than if she'd given me diamonds :) These are precious and I really love this type better than Mission figs.
I could've eaten these fresh, but I wanted an ally to complement these seasonal fruits. Taste-wise, figs are often paired with honey and almonds; these flavors are greatly complement each other. After browsing for some time, I settled on a tart recipe from Bon Appetit's Desserts book. I think the reason I love making tart is that I enjoy eating the crust more than the filling, especially when it is tender, crumbly, and buttery.
From start to finish, this tart required three days for me to complete. The base was done on the first day, the filling and chilling time took place on the second day, and on the last day, I finally got to eat it. It could easily be completed in one day, however, part-time work and my job as a mom got in the way whenever I make desserts :) Distractions come and go but the tart is nonetheless still delicious. As predicted, the crust was the last piece I savored. Make this tart when the figs are in season, which is now; hurry while they last, the paradise is near.
P.S. This post is for you, Laurel!
Fresh Calimyrna Figs-Almond Tart
Makes 6 servings
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons (or more) ice water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup honey
6 fresh Calimyrna figs, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup almonds, toasted, chopped
For crust: Mix flour, almonds, sugar and salt in food processor. Add butter, pulse several times until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg yolk and 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water in a small bowl to blend; add to dry ingredients and pulse just until the mixture starts to come together in moist clumps. Add ice water by teaspoon if mixture is dry. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.
Butter and flour 9-inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Roll out dough disk on floured surface to 1/8-inch thick round. Transfer to tart pan. Press crust onto bottom and up sides of pan. Trim edges; patch cracks on crust if needed; reserve the rest of trimmings. Freeze crust 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is set, about 12 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Continue to bake until crust is golden, about 15-20 minutes longer. Repair any cracks in crust with reserved dough if needed. Cool crust. Maintain oven temperature.
For the filling: Whisk buttermilk, lemon juice, eggs, flour and lemon peel in bowl. Add honey and stir until dissolved. Pour into crust. Bake until filling is set, it might look slightly jiggly, about 30-35 minutes. Cool tart in pan on rack. Chill until cold.
For the topping: Arrange figs atop tart. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with almonds.
Source: adapted from Bon Appetit's Desserts.