Fresh Fig Tart with Rosemary Cornmeal Crust and Lemon Mascarpone Cream



For crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons red-currant jelly
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 lb fresh figs

Special equipment:

  • An 11 1/4- by 8- by 1-inch rectangular or 10-inch round fluted tart pan (1 inch deep) with a removable bottom

Make crust

1. Pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and rosemary and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until just incorporated. Gently squeeze a small handful. If it doesn't hold together, add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition and continuing to test.

2. Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of tart pan with floured fingers. Smooth dough with a small offset metal spatula or back of a spoon (floured if necessary), then roll a rolling pin over top of pan to trim dough flush with rim. Chill crust until firm, about 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 400º. Bake crust in middle of oven until center and edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes (don't worry if bottom of crust cracks), then cool in pan on a rack.

Prepare filling and assemble tart

4. Whisk together sour cream, mascarpone, sugar, zest, and salt in a bowl. Heat jelly and honey in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking, until jelly is melted, about 4 minutes, then cool glaze slightly. Remove side of tart pan and spread mascarpone cream in shell. Cut figs lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange decoratively over cream. Brush figs with honey glaze.

Note: Crust can be made 1 day ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature. Mascarpone mixture can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Tart can be assembled 1 hour ahead and kept, loosely covered, at room temperature.

Copyright July 2003, Gourmet magazine. Printed with permission.

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Serves 6
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