Get ready for spring with this simple pie from Brooklyn's One Girl Cookies bakery. "I have a love affair with figs. Black or white, dried or fresh, I can't get enough. It's imperative to buy the figs when they are in season, which is usually twice a year, when they are at their sweetest. When they are teamed up with the coarse texture of the cornmeal and the creaminess of the mascarpone, it's a home run."
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 tbsp ice water
1 large egg yolk
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 to 12 fresh figs, halved*
* Figs can vary a great deal in size. It is most important to look for plump, good-looking figs.
Step 1: To make the crust, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse 4 or 5 times, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Step 2: In a small bowl, stir together the ice water and egg yolk. Add the egg mixture to the food processor and pulse until the crumbs begin to climb the side of the bowl and hold their shape when pressed together.
Step 3: Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Using your hands — and a little muscle — form the dough into a 5" diameter disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or as long as 24 hours before rolling
Step 4: Unwrap the dough, and using a rolling pin, roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to form an 11" circle. Working quickly and carefully, line a 9" tart pan with the dough. With your fingertips, make sure that the edge of the tart is smooth and even. Refrigerate it for 20 minutes.
Step 5: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Step 6: Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator. Line the crust with tin foil, making sure to cover the sides, and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for 15 more minutes, or until the sides are somewhat firm and hold their shape. Remove the foil and bake for 6 minutes, or until the bottom of the crust looks dry and the shell is a very pale golden colour. Remove the pan from the oven and let the shell cool.
Step 7: To make the filling, beat together the mascarpone and sour cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Then beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the honey and vanilla, and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Step 8: When the crust is cool, spread the filling evenly in the bottom. Arrange the figs, cut side up, in a circular pattern on top of the filling. The tart will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but it is best when eaten the same day it is assembled.
Makes one 9" tart
See more recipes from Dawn Casale and David Crofton.
Reprinted with permission from Dawn Casale and David Crofton's One Girl Cookies (2012 Clarkson Potter).