Technically, October is “fall”, when farmers markets are overflowing with pumpkins and apples and you’ve exchanged your wedge sandals and summer dresses for jeans and knee high boots. Perhaps you’ve moved on from rosé and your new drink of choice is a #PSL. But what if summer has decided to hang on for a little while longer and you find yourself a recipient of a bumper crop of beautiful figs?
The answer: eat them. Obviously. Until you just can’t any more. At my in-laws’ house in France, they give away kilos of figs every season. The fig trees on their property are so prolific that my mother-in-law makes jars of preserves and puts them in everything, and they still have so many that end up overripe and falling on the ground. After a recent party, my hosts ended up giving me a few pounds of home grown figs (from Ziggy the Wine Gal’s garden) because they were leaving town and couldn’t use them up, so I immediately got to work making this sweet and savory tart. The combination of figs & goat cheese is just divine, and I wanted to show off this beautiful fruit! It’s a pretty simple recipe that you can serve alongside a simple salad for a quick lunch.
Fig & Goat Cheese Tart
6T butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
ice cold water
1 egg, beaten
15 fresh figs, stems removed and cut into quarters
8 oz goat cheese
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
1 tsp lemon zest
A few leaves of either fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
For the pastry, add the butter, salt, and flour to a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Continue to pulse, and add a spoonful of ice cold water at a time until the dough holds when formed into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. Roll out the dough to fit a fluted tart pan, prick all over with a fork, and use a pastry brush to coat the tart with egg wash. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, and remove from oven. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, blend the goat cheese, thyme, lemon zest, and egg together. Coat the bottom of your pre-baked tart shell with the goat cheese mixture, then arrange your fig quarters on top. Don’t be afraid to crowd them, as they will shrink a bit during baking. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Top the tart with chopped fresh thyme or rosemary and serve either room temperature or slightly warm with a green salad.