Thursday, September 4, 2014


I'm just going to come out and say it. I don't care much about fruit. In fact, if I didn't have children, I would probably never buy it. Does that make me a monster? Yes, it does. So what.

There is one fierce exception to my indifference to fruit: Figs. I love figs and I could eat dozens at a time. They are beautiful, they are sweet, they are luscious, and they bring me back to blissful childhood afternoons, sitting on a fig tree branch with a couple of friends and gorging on the fruits. Interestingly, the fig is one fruit whose seasonality seems to be respected both in Italy and the United States. You find it just twice a year, at the beginning and at the end of the summer. Italian figs are usually bigger, with a thicker skin that can be easily peeled off.

Come to me, my darlings!

You can only imagine my joy when I found a recipe for a "Brown Butter Fig Tart" in John Besh's My New Orleans: The Cookbook, a wonderful book I found at my father-in-law's during a winter visit (a great review here). I immediately copied the recipe on a piece of paper, and then sat on it for months until figs became available.

An empty center. That's what I get for eating half a dozen figs while halving them.

The tart is easy to make, and the result is rather paradisiac (of course). Since the tart is baked for only 40 minutes, the figs maintain their shape and some of their bite. They are also folded into the most delicious custard. And if you're lucky like I am, you have also a secret killer recipe for the perfect pie dough, perhaps with cream cheese. *winks*

The cocoa trick.

The tart you see in the picture was slightly overcooked, so a little too brown on top. To mask my mistake, I sprinkled a little cocoa powder, which is the only deviation from John Besh's recipe. I have to say, the cocoa worked perfectly with the figs and the custard, so I will definitely make it part of future preparations. And if you don't have figs, and like me have fruit in the fridge that you're not going to eat, please know this tart works great with plums and peaches, too.

Find the recipe here.

No comments:

Post a Comment