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I am not a baker. Or a dessert maker. Heck, most of the time I’d rather have a cheese course instead of a dessert course after dinner. Unless figs are in season.

Okay, okay, the ingredients in this tart sound a little… well, quirky… but the combination is a show stopper. Allow about 1.5 hours, but most of the time is chilling, and then baking the crust.

Fresh Fig Tart

based on a recipe from Epicurious.com

P1150010

ingredients

CRUST

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

FILLING

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese (8 oz)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons red-currant jelly
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 package (8 oz) fresh figs

Special equipment: an 11 1/4- by 8- by 1-inch rectangular or 10-inch round fluted tart pan (1 inch deep) with a removable bottom

preparation

Make crust:
Pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and rosemary and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until just incorporated.

Gently squeeze a small handful: If it doesn’t hold together, add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition and continuing to test.

Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of tart pan with floured fingers. Smooth dough with a small offset metal spatula or back of a spoon (floured if necessary), then roll a rolling pin over top of pan to trim dough flush with rim. Chill crust until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Bake crust in middle of oven until center and edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes (don’t worry if bottom of crust cracks), then cool in pan on a rack.

Prepare filling and assemble tart:
Whisk together sour cream, mascarpone, sugar, zest, and salt in a bowl.

Heat jelly and honey in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking, until jelly is melted, about 4 minutes, then cool glaze slightly.

Remove side of tart pan and spread mascarpone cream in shell. Cut figs lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange decoratively over cream. Brush figs with honey glaze.

Notes:

· Crust can be made 1 day ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.
· Mascarpone mixture can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. · Tart can be assembled 1 hour ahead and kept, loosely covered, at room temperature.

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