I don't have penis envy at all but I do have fig tree envy. That is, anyone who has ever had a fig tree in their backyard where you can pluck a fresh, juicy, heavy fig and eat them to your heart's content, I am terribly envious of you. So please know that when you tell me about your fig tree, be prepared as I'm likely to drop around to your place.
I call this a sophisticated cheesecake really with the figs and goat's cheese and it's slightly less sweet cheesey creamy interior. When figs are in season (early Autumn i.e. now!), they're luscious and plentiful and less likely to break the bank. Goat's cheese will always break the bank slightly at $8 for 100grams at my local shops but you can always use cream cheese if you want to.
You should not underestimate the reaction when you bring this to the table, it's a visual feast for the eyes with the fluted, golden buttery crust, pink and green hued figs and luscious fig conserve giving the whole tart a dreamy delectability.
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Goat's Cheese tart with figs
- 1 tablespoon sultanas
- 125ml brandy
- 1 sheet sweet shortcrust pastry to fit 28cmsx 3cms tin (I used a biscuit base much like a regular cheesecake ie pulverise 300g biscuits in a food processor, then add 80grams butter and pulse until combined)
- 2 eggs (at room temp)
- 200g goat's cheese
- 2 tablespoons castor sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 pinch salt
- 200ml double cream
- zest of 1 orange
- ripest figs (I used 6 so that I bought get an even number of large pieces around the outside but you could get away with 4 if that's not a concern)
- icing sugar (optional)
- fig conserve (I used Bonne Maman)
Step 1 - Steep sultanas in brandy. Make pastry then line a 28cms wide x 3 cms deep flan tin and bake blind
Step 2 - Reset oven to 180c. Separate eggs, put egg yolks, goats' cheese and 1 T of castor sugar into a food processor and scrap in seeds from split vanilla bean, then pulse scraping down the sides after a few seconds, until combined.
Step 3 - Start whisking egg whites with salt in a warm, clean and dry bowl, then gradually 'rain' in remaining sugar, whisking to soft peaks. Gently fold in pureed cheese mixture, cream, drained sultanas and orange zest until no streaks remain then pour into prepared pastry shell.
Step 4 - Bake for 40 minutes until golden, then allow tart to cool to room temperature. You may like to dust the tart with icing sugar and tear figs in half to sit alongside a serving or you can arrange sliced figs decoratively in top and glaze them with some warmed jam.
From Let it Simmer by Sean Moran