Garden Fresh Fig Tart

Baby do you love figs? Really love figs? I love this quote from Sylvia Plath about figs: THE BELL JAR

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

Make the pastry (recipe below)

Pie  Filling ingredients:

2 cups fresh figs cut in quarters

½ stick of butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

¼ tsp. of nutmeg

2 eggs

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Zest of one lemon

1 tsp. finely minced cinnamon basil

2 drops of almond extract

Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, except for the figs, and mix well. Lay your pie pastry out in the pie pan or tart pans and prick with a fork all over. Bake the pastry for 7 to 10 minutes in the  pre heated oven with the temperature set at 350 degrees. Remove the pastry from the oven and fill with filling and top with the figs. Then bake for 30 to 45 minutes at 375 degrees.  Can serve at once for serve at room temperature.

 All-Purpose Pastry recipe:

Makes 1 9 – inch pie pastry.

1 stick (1/4 pound) of chilled unsalted butter, cut into half inch cubes

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon sugar

A pinch of kosher salt

3 tablespoons to ¼ cup ice water.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the butter cubes, flour, sugar, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade. Pulse on/off 3 to 4 times to break up the butter into pea sized bits. With the machine running, add the water a little at a time. Do not allow the dough to form a ball. Stop the machine and check the consistency of the dough. It should gather into a cohesive dough when you squeeze a bit together into your palm. If it is still too crumbly add a bit more water. Turn the crumbly dough onto the work surface of a counter with a little flour on the work surface. Knead by hand a couple of times, just enough to make the dough smooth. Pat the dough into a 6-inch disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 2o minutes to firm up the dough before using.

William “Bill” Varney

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