I have a foodie confession. Until recently I hadn’t eaten fresh figs. I know, I know.
But more surprisingly, I tried roasted figs caramelised in delicious brown sugar for the first time. Holy smoke guys, why hasn’t anyone told me about this before!
How I got onto the fig phenomenon is, I decided one bright sunny day that I would submit an application to showcase my photos at a local exhibition. Like anything else that requires my creative spirit’s involvement, I looked for a minute, digested the fact it would be freaking scary, and jumped in anyway. Next day I woke up and the reality hit. Oh shit. So my head has been throwing around food photo ideas non-stop since.
Enter figs. They’re delightful looking little things aren’t they? Try looking at the inside of one through a macro lens, serious swoon! I am not joking, I spent hours, hours, photographing seven figs. I had the intention of eating them afterwards of course. An added bonus of food photography, I get to ogle the beauty then eat the deliciousness. So darn lucky.
I decided to make a tart, or mini tarts rather. You can of course make this into one big tart, whatever takes your fancy. The filling is very simple and very subtle so as not to overpower the figs, with a hint of citrus amidst the subtle cheese taste. The figs are definitely the star here.
Ingredients // makes 6-8 mini tarts or 1 big tart
To make the crust:
250g plain flour
1/8 tsp salt
125g butter, chilled and cubed
50g caster sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp chilled water
Whisk flour and salt in a bowl. Add butter to flour and process until resembles breadcrumbs. Add sugar and egg, process until just incorporated. Add water, and pulse a couple of times.
Pour dough onto bench top and bring together into a ball. Flatten to a disc, wrap in cling wrap and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Lightly grease mini tart tins. Remove pastry from fridge and divide into 6-8 portions (depending on the size of your tins). Place each portion into a tin and using your fingers press the pastry around to cover the bottoms and sides. You don’t need to roll this dough out first, it’ll move around however you push it. Keep the pastry on the thin side when pressing into tins. Cover and place bases into freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove from freezer, lightly prick pastry with a fork and place into oven for 20-25 minutes until pastry turns a nice golden brown. Take a peek about halfway and if the bases are bubbling, simply prick pastry again to release any trapped air.
Allow to completely cool.
To roast figs:
Cut 6-7 figs into quarters and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle tops with a handful of brown sugar and roast in oven at 190C for about 5-8 minutes until they start to bubble and caramelise. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
200g creme fraiche
100ml cream, whipped
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla essence
Rind of a lemon
Whip mascarpone, creme fraiche, honey, vanilla and lemon rind until well combined. Fold in whipped cream.
Pour into cooled pastry cases, top with figs and chill until ready to serve. You can garnish with fresh mint if you like, or orange rind as I did, and you can even drizzle over honey if that’s your thing.