Fig and mascarpone tart

Fig and mascarpone tart

Tart ai fichi e mascarpone

By
From
The Italian Baker
Serves
8

Fig trees grow wild in many areas of Italy, and memories take me back to my uncle and aunty’s house in the country. Nearby there were two huge trees, one cherry and the other a fig tree. Every summer my aunty used to make fig jam, and my duty was to go and pick as many figs as I could, but as I never liked figs I would climb the cherry tree and eat tons of cherries instead. Thankfully, tastes change as we grow up, and now I am crazy about figs!

This tart is fresh, summery and full of flavour. Drizzle some clear honey on top of the figs and serve it on a beautiful plate or stand; it is so glorious that it deserves a super-elegant presentation.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the pastry

Quantity Ingredient
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
150g butter, chilled and diced, plus extra for greasing
120g caster sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 lemon, grated zested
pinch salt

For the mascarpone filling

Quantity Ingredient
450g mascarpone cheese
50g caster sugar
120ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

For the top

Quantity Ingredient
20 figs, quartered
2 tablespoons apricot jam
2 tablespoons clear honey

Method

  1. To make the pastry, put the flour in a mound on the work surface and make a well in the middle. Add the diced butter to the well and, working quickly to keep everything cool, rub it into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well again and place the sugar, egg and extra yolks, lemon zest and salt in the well. Knead into a dough, wrap in cling film (plastic wrap) and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or, better still, overnight. (You can use a food processor to make the pastry, but making it by hand will give better results.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly butter a 23-cm loose-based, fluted tart tin and dust with flour. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick and use to line the tart tin, pressing it gently into the grooves. Prick the base with a fork in a few places and trim the excess pastry around the edges. Cut out a disc of baking parchment and place it inside the tart, then fill with baking beans and blind bake for about 25 minutes until golden, dry and cooked. Remove from the oven, take out the baking beans and parchment disc and leave to cool completely in the tin, set on a wire rack.
  3. For the filling, whisk the mascarpone, sugar, cream and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or in a mixing bowl using an electric hand-held whisk, taking care not to over-whisk so it is too stiff; it should still be spreadable. Spoon into the cooled pastry case and smooth it out using a spatula.
  4. Arrange the figs on top of the mascarpone filling, fanning out from the centre in a decorative way. Heat the apricot jam and use a pastry brush to brush it over the figs. Drizzle the honey over the entire tart to finish, then cut into slices and serve.
Tags:
baking
cakes
biscuits
Italian
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