We love figs, mainly because they're the 'smart casual' of fruit: perfectly at home in a cake, good on a cheese board and equally happy with ham. Simple, but decadent, light and fragrant, but rich. Also: fig rolls. Amazing.
Here, they're paired with their ol' buddy mascarpone into a creamy, honeyed tart. This is good served cold and great with coffee (what isn't), so can be made in advance and stuck in the fridge.
Fresh figs really come into their own a bit later in the year: make sure you grab them when you see them (they should be soft and delicate, but not bruised) otherwise, tinned figs can be a handy alternative.
Baked Mascarpone & Fig Tart
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes + 45 minutes
You will need:
- 250g shortcrust pastry
- Sprinkling of icing sugar
- 500g mascarpone
- 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp honey
- 125g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp flour
- 4 or 5 ripe figs, halved or sliced, depending on size
- 2 tbsp honey and flaked nuts, to decorate
The tart case:
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line and lightly grease a 23cm tart tin.
- Sprinkle a clean work surface with icing sugar and roll out the shortcrust pastry to about 1cm thickness.
- Press it into the prepared tin, leaving an overhang of a couple of inches (we'll trim it later).
- Prick some holes in the base with a fork, then place another sheet of greaseproof paper or similar in the base and fill with baking beads (or rice, or whatever).
- Place in the oven for 10 minutes until the sides are browning. Then, remove the baking beads and paper and bake for 5 minutes more before removing to a wire rack.
- Place the mascarpone, eggs, egg yolk, honey, sugar, vanilla and flour in a bowl. Whisk or beat together until well combined.
- Pour into the tart case.
- Arrange your sliced figs over the surface in whatever delightful pattern you choose.
- Sprinkle with a little caster sugar and place (carefully!) in the oven for around 45-50 minutes, or until the filling looks golden and set, but still wobbles when jiggled.
- Allow to cool. Use a sharp, serrated knife to trim the excess pastry so that it looks neat.
- Dilute the honey with a splash of hot water and drizzle or brush all over the surface of the tart.
- Sprinkle with toasted flaked nuts to serve.