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If you read the previous post about the fig picking photoshoot, you would have heard of my love of all things organic and the contact with one’s own roots.

My folks cultivate a few vegetables and fruits in their garden up in the Lebanese mountains, and the local produce it supplies is incomparable. One of my favorite items is figs, and I am always eager to visit my hometown in the summer to enjoy the fresh taste of those fruits.unnamed-7

The fig tree blooms and comes to fruition around the month of July, and generously continues to give fruits until the end of summer. Both the green and the dark figs are scrumptious, and I had never thought I could use them to create a beautiful dessert that involved me making a dough from scratch!

I had no record whatsoever in preparing a dough, and I always thought it to be the most complicated task anyone could ever undertake. Yet now that I successfully did it, I can safely say it is one of the easiest recipes you could make. It takes a little time and the result is simply a dessert you can take pride in.

I tried to look for a dough recipe online, but I was spoilt for choice. Too spoilt is more like it! I got lost, confused, and eventually scared. Some recipes involve black pepper, others require eggs, while a few include pistachios! Go figure!

I had to call mom for help, since I was using her kitchen, and knew she would more than gladly jump in. Hers was an easy breezy recipe that did not even need a dough roller. The dough could easily be spread into the tart pan with your fingers. A small advice: I used both my fingers and my knuckles for an extra pressure when rolling it, and then rolled a small glass on it to level it. 20160905_17525820160905_175207

I had bought mom a tart pan with a removable bottom that I thought would spare us the risky endeavor of taking the crust out of the pan. And I was not mistaken. Because as soon as the baked dough started cooling down, it hardened and turned biscuit-like, so any attempt at removing it would have broken it in crumbles. The pan with a very thin and a barely seen removable bottom allowed me to take it out of the surrounding ring and to decorate the cake with the prepared filling, but did not ruin the appearance of the tart itself. It was honestly very seamless,  the only way to tell it was there was when we cut the tart and it showed in the bottom.

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Usually tarts are baked with tart weights placed on top to avoid the dough swelling and breaking. You can substitute those weights with using a fork to pinch small holes into it before you bake it, which is what I did. But it still swelled while in the oven and I used a fork to burst the air-filled bubbles.

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The filling was a little runny, and the secret to making it harden would be to either add cheese, or sugar. I wanted it to taste of honey so I refused to add any sugar to it. To me, along with the slightly sweet dough, it made the perfect combination, but some may prefer it to be even sweeter. So my advice would be to add sugar to taste.

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As for the final touch, I chopped the figs into thin slices and mixed both green and purple ones for a perkier color to the tart.

To add your extra oomph, you could drizzle some honey on it right before serving. It mixed well with the figs and the honey flavored mascarpone filling, and you could also spread crushed walnuts. They have to be powder like so they do not take away from the beauty of the colored figs, as you want them to totally blend in the tart and find their way in between the nooks and crannies of the fruits.

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20160906_140717When it was time to taste it, I had my little Jamie do the honors! He loved how it looked, and could barely contain his excitement. But needless to explain that he favored the biscuits over the fresh fruits. Kids always have this gift of raining heavily on your parade, especially when it is about healthy eating options.

Yet, I must admit it was a wonderful experience all in all. I have now gained the courage to bake tarts, and my next one will be savory. Stay tuned!

Here is the recipe below. Try it and let me know!

 

Fig Tart Recipe

Crust Ingredients:

200 g unsalted butter

660 g all purpose flour

2 tbsp powder sugar

1 eggwhite

2 tbsps rose water (or drinking water)

 

Filling:

450 g Mascarpone cheese

100 g Heavy cream or Ashta can (regular or honey-flavored)

Honey (to taste, but not less than 4 tbsps)

Icing Sugar (to taste, and it would help if you feel the filling is too runny)

100 g walnuts

2 tbsp honey for decoration

 

Preparation Method

The filling:

In a big bowl, mix the mascarpone with the cream (ashta), the honey and the icing sugar and whisk them either manually or electrically. Place the mix in the fridge to cool down until the dough is ready.

The dough:

Melt the butter in a pan on low fire. Add it to the sifted flour sitting in a bowl followed by the egg white and mix them altogether until they form a dough. Keep mixing with your bare fingers and if you think it is too hard, add a little rose water or even orange blossom water for a special touch, but also drinking water could work.

Place the dough in a tart pan that has a removable bottom and start rolling it with your fingers until it covers the whole pan including the edges, then level it with a small cup to get rid of all the bumps. Use a fork to poke holes in it if you have no tart weights. This will avoid it swelling inside the oven.

Bake in the oven for 15 mins and keep checking for any swelling. Use the fork again to burst it if any.

Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool down.

Be extremely careful while you remove it. Preferably serve it on the bottom of the pan if possible to avoid seeing it break in a few places.

Once it cools down, add the refrigerated filling. If you think it is too hard, mix it a little with a spatula or let it warm a little for a few minutes. Then Cut the figs on the spot into think slices and place them as you think fit. I chose to cover the whole filling layer. You may wish to place them in a big bulk only in the middle.

Sprinkle the crushed walnuts on the whole tart, and finish it off by drizzling honey from a spoon or from a honey roller.

Bon appetit!