Goat's Cheese & Fig Dessert Tart
I served this wonderful tart recently at a dinner party.....it was an absolute triumph. I've had so many figs this year probably because of the very mild & wet winter we had...usually the immature fruits perish in the cold but not this year, the crop has been bountiful and my tree is still producing fruit ...I feel blessed.
Thank you so much Yotam Ottolenghi for the inspirational recipe for this truly delicious dessert. It is a complete revelation to me. I always have associated Goat's Cheese Tart as being savoury. The pastry is yeasted and made well in advance....the filling is incredible....a very unusual mixture of ground almonds, creamy Goat's Cheese, sugar & orange zest....sounds strange I know but wow...what a result when topped with the figs and baked...just marvellous served with some thick Greek Yoghurt with honey.
I started the pastry the night before and it needs a long prove in the fridge
For the Pastry ( this can be substituted for a pack of pre-rolled all butter puff pastry, but it's so worth the effort to make this yeasted pastry)
1 tsp easy blend dried yeast
265 gms/9oz plain flour , you will need extra for rolling out
large pinch of salt
50 gms /1½ oz caster sugar
2 medium sized beaten eggs
75 gms/2½oz butter at room temp, cut into small cubes
the Zest of half a grated lemon
60 ml/2fl oz water
a little oil for greasing
For the filling:-
Just over a pound/ 600 gms of firm but ripe figs
1tbsp chopped fresh thyme and a few leaves for decoration
5 oz/150gms of soft Goat's Cheese, you may need more if using the kind with the rind as this will need to be removed)
1 tbsp Icing (confectioners) sugar for the filling
75g/2½ oz " " " " " glaze
2 medium eggs beaten
100gms/3½oz Ground Almonds
1 tbsp caster sugar
1½ tbsp lemon juice for the glaze
Make the pastry first
Place the flour, yeast, sugar and lemon zest into your mixer, attach the dough hook and blend together.
Add the water & beaten eggs slowly at first, then knead for a few minutes until a dough is formed
Add the salt, then on a slow speed add the butter a cube or so at a time until it is combined into the dough.
Now knead on a low speed for 10 minutes, you may need to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times during this process.
Place in a greased bowl, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours....even better overnight.
Oil a large oven tray & line it with baking parchment
Bring out the dough from the fridge and set aside
To make the filling:-
Beat the Goat's cheese
Add the tbsp of icing sugar and most of beaten eggs ( reserve a little to glaze the edge of the tart) and whisk well together along with the orange zest & thyme.
Mix the ground almonds in well..the filling is now ready
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to approx 24cms square (10inches)
Neaten the edges roll it over your rolling pin and transfer carefully to the lined baking tray
Spread the filling to within 1½ cms/ 3/4 of an inch of the edge
Overlap the halved figs equally over the filling
Brush the edge of the tart with the remaining egg wash
Sprinkle over the tbsp of caster sugar
Cover over with a clean tea towel or foil and leave to prove for around 20 minutes or so
set the oven to 180C/325f/gas mark 4 whilst it's proving
Bake in the centre of the oven for around 25 - 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the figs nicely caramelised.
Mix together the remaining icing sugar and lemon juice to make a glaze then trickle it with a spoon over the tart .