Friday, October 08, 2021

Fig and Walnut Tart

It really feels like fall today, with cooler temperatures and lots of trees changing into their autumn colors. One of the lovely fruits of fall is fresh figs. A neighbor gifted us with some that she grew...the purple ones that have a sort of magenta seed section that is so pretty. I decided to combine them with another fall a tart.

Frozen puff pastry is such a delightful thing to have on hand. You just defrost it overnight in the fridge and it's ready to use. Having made puff pastry from scratch, with all the rolling, folding, and successive bouts of chilling, I know how much work is saved by using the pastry from the store. Since I can't do dairy, I use the kind made with shortening. Perhaps it doesn't have as much flavor as that made with butter, but it is still delicious and flaky.

You start by rolling out a piece of the thawed puff pastry to make it a bit bigger. With a sharp knife you trim around the edges to create thin strips which become the sides of the tart once you 'glue' them onto the remaining base with water.

Inside the tart, you spread a mixture that is a combination of ricotta cheese (I used the non-dairy Kite Hill ricotta - it's very hard to tell it apart from dairy ricotta), sugar, orange zest, and an egg yolk. On top of that you place wedges of the fresh fig in a nice pattern...I just used rows. Chopped walnuts get sprinkled between the fig wedges. An egg  wash, using the egg white that remained when the yolk was used in the filling, is brushed carefully over the pieces of pastry that make up the sides...carefully because you don't want any wash to go down the sides or it won't rise properly.

The tart gets baked in a hot over...425 degrees F until the fruit juices start to run and the crust is golden brown. After a bit of time cooling, treat yourself to a rectangle of pure autumn deliciousness! The nuts have roasted, the filling has firmed up, and the fruit is juicy and mellowed by the cooking. Sublime! 

The actual recipe will be posted here tomorrow.

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