Fig & Goat Cheese Tart
If you don’t have a stand mixer with a dough hook, or you just don’t want to make the yeasted pastry, it can be replaced with a commercial all-butter puff pastry sheet of similar dimensions.
For the pastry:
- 2 cups plus 2 Tbs. (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz./50 g) superfine sugar
- 1 tsp. fast-acting (rapid rise) yeast
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) water
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 5 1/2 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsalted butter, at room
temperature, cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) cubes
- Sunflower oil for brushing
For the filling:
- 5 oz. (150 g) soft goat cheese
- 2/3 cup (3 oz./85 g) confectioners’ sugar, or more as needed
- 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more leaves for garnish
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup (3 1/2 oz./100 g) ground almonds
- 12 ripe figs, halved lengthwise (about 1 1/3 lb./600 g)
- 1 Tbs. superfine sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, or more as needed
First, make the pastry. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the flour, sugar, yeast and lemon zest on low speed for 1 minute. Add the eggs and water and work for a few seconds on low speed before increasing the speed to medium and kneading for 3 minutes, until the dough comes together. Add the salt and the butter, a few cubes at a time, until it is all thoroughly incorporated into the dough. Continue kneading on medium speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl and sprinkling a small amount of flour on the sides to the prevent the dough from sticking, until the dough is completely smooth, elastic and shiny, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl brushed with sunflower oil, cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least half a day, and preferably overnight. It will increase in volume, but only by about one-fourth.
In a bowl, combine the goat cheese with 4 tsp. of the confectioners’ sugar, the orange zest, thyme and three-quarters of the beaten eggs. Whisk until smooth and then stir in the ground almonds. Mix until smooth.
Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll out the pastry into an 11-inch (28-cm) square 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin to help you transfer it to the baking sheet. Spread the goat cheese mixture on top, leaving a border of about 2/3 inch (1.5 cm). Brush the remaining egg over the border.
Stand the figs on top of the mixture, placing them cut side up and slightly overlapping, as they will shrink when cooking. Sprinkle the superfine sugar over the figs, cover the tart with aluminum foil and set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Remove the foil and place the tart in the oven. Bake until the figs are caramelized and the bottom of the pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Whisk the remaining confectioners’ sugar with the lemon juice. You want a thick yet spreadable icing, so add a bit more juice or confectioners’ sugar as needed. Remove the tart from the oven and use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the figs. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and eat warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.
Adapted from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi, by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ten Speed Press, 2014).