Fig And Goat Cheese Tart
Figs are in season and then they are gone like a flash. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful fresh figs available in a recipe using Mosto Cotto syrup. It’s delicious, and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. I used it as a syrup to pair with a buttermilk panna cotta and as a glaze for ribs. It’s so versatile. For this recipe I steeped fresh mission figs in Mosto Cotto with black peppercorns, orange and cointreau. I wanted the figs to retain their shape and texture so instead of poaching in the syrup I steeped them for a few hours. The figs were soft but firm enough to retain their shape and the flavor of the syrup permeated each fig. I then sliced them, and reduced the syrup by about half and used it as a glaze for the figs. The tangy goat cheese only slightly sweetened with honey and the figs steeped in delicious Mosto Cotto syrup is delicious. I made a traditional pie dough because I wanted something flaky and a bit more delicate than a tart dough, I used my go to recipe from Julia Child. This would be equally delicious though in a more substantial tart crust or even puff pastry.I created this recipe when I was asked to do a guest post for Marx Foods, who carry Mosto Cotto, and I happily agreed to do so. I will always keep a bottle in my pantry, it’s just that good. The beauty of this tart is how easy it is to prepare. It really takes almost no time at all to put together, and makes a lovely not too sweet dessert or put a slice or two of prosciutto di parma on top for a nice lunch. NOTE: If you can purchase Mosto Cotto I highly recommend but if you can’t use wine, the Mosto Cotto is made from Montepulciano grapes from the Abruzzo region of Italy and also Amarena Cherries, try to find a wine using those grapes if you can (Montepulciano d’Abruzzo) for the syrup if you cannot then use a good red wine it will be fine.
Figs and Syrup
1lb (6-7 fresh ripe figs)
1/2 cup Mosto Cotto Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 strips (approx 2 inches wide) orange skin- careful not to include the pith
3 whole black peppercorns
1 tbs cointreau
Bring mosto cotto, sugar, orange rind, peppercorns and cointreau to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. While it’s simmering slice the figs in half and place in heat proof bowl. Pour the hot syrup over the figs and cover. Let sit until it reaches room temperature.
Making the tart
10.5 oz soft goat cheese (chevre) at room temperature
1 heaping tbs honey (I used peach blossom)
Favorite pie dough, tart crust recipe. (You could also use puff pastry for this)
Juilia Childs Pastry Dough
Makes enough dough for a double crust 9 inch pie
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp salt
6 oz cold unsalted butter cut into tbs size pieces
4 tbs shortening or leaf lard cold
1/2 cup ice cold water
You can make this either by hand or in the food processor. To make by hand, put flours, salt, butter, lard or shortening into mixing bowl, use pastry cutter to combine until it resembles pea size crumbs. Add water mix with fork, gather with your hands, divide dough into a 2 discs and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
In Food Processor, add the flours, salt, butter and shortening or lard into the bowl of the processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles pea size crumbs. Add the water and pulse a few times until it becomes a cohesive dough. Divide dough into two discs and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Blind bake your pie dough, I like to use a rectangular shape for this tart, either use a fluted rectuangular tart pan or a small 1/2 sheet pan. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out your dough to fit into the tin, prick with fort multiple times, ( chill in refrigerator at least 20 minutes before baking) place a piece of parchment on top and add pie weights or beans.Bake for 15-20 minutes, remove parchment and weights and bake again for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. While the pie crust is cooling slice the figs into thin slices approximately 1/4 inch thick, set aside. Pour the remaining syrup into sauce pan, removing peppercorns and orange zest and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and reduce by 1/2 (It takes about 10 minutes) or until syrup thickens. Let cool.
Place goat cheese in mixing bowl add honey and whip until fluffy.
Smooth onto tart, arrange figs on top and brush some of the reduced mosto cotto syrup over the fruit. Serve as is or it’s delicious to lay a slice of prosciutto di parma on top.