Fig Tart with Goat Cheese and Thyme

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One of my best friends studied abroad in France this year and always tells a story about trying her first fig in Morocco. I made this tart and said, “Claire, you’ll love it. It’s topped with figs.” She looked at me, then at the tart. “Those are figs?”

Apparently whatever she ate in Morocco was absolutely not a fig. This doesn’t stop her from telling the story about trying her first fig in Morocco…

I made this tart by Williams Sonoma because it has figs, goat cheese, buttery crust and thyme. Then you drizzle each slice with honey and balsamic. Delicious. I actually think it tasted better leftover than it did right after I made it. Even with the figs it’s fairly savory. The added honey drizzle makes it exceptional. And then of course dip the crust in more honey. 

For the crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into
 1-inch pieces
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. ice water


 For the filling

  • 10 oz. goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1⁄8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 large black Mission figs, quartered lengthwise
  • Aged balsamic vinegar for serving
  • Honey for serving 

To make the crust use an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater. Combine the flour and salt and beat on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the butter and continue beating until pea-size crumbs form, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the water 1/2 Tbs. at a time and continue beating, adding more water as needed, until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press together to form a 5-inch disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness to fit a 9-inch square tart pan. (I only had a circular one, and it also worked.) Press the dough into the pan and trim the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang around the rim. Fold in the excess dough and press it into the sides so they are thicker than the bottom. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Line the pastry shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the shell is set, about 20 minutes. Remove the weights and paper and continue baking until the shell is golden, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

To make the filling, in a large bowl, whisk together the goat cheese, eggs, thyme, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Spread the cheese mixture in the tart shell. Arrange the figs on top, covering as much of the cheese as possible.

Bake until the tart is golden around the edges and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and honey.

 

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