Joy the Baker

Fig, Apricot & Mascarpone Tart

August 10, 2012

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In general.  In life.  If you ask me to be somewhere… I’m either 10 minutes early or 15 minutes late.  If I’m 10 minutes early, I surely have arrived having forgotten both lip gloss and deodorant.  If I’m 15 minutes late, at least I smell fresh while I apologize for disrespecting your time.  I can’t seem to figure out how to be on time.  It’s a terrible quality. I know… ugh.  I have no excuse.  I know.

With this tart… praise God… for once in my life I was right on time.  This darling is the perfect marriage of fresh figs and summer apricots.  It’s a mash of the current season.  It feels indulgent and expensive. Aaaannndd it’s dang timely! It makes me feel like the wonderfully flawed and tardy adult that I really am.

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I like to start where everything should start… with a crust.

This particular crust is a cornmeal crust.  There’s just a hint of bite from yellow cornmeal.  It’s alluring.

The egg yolk is a stable binder for the crust.  All systems go!

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Cold butter is quickly broken down into the dry ingredients and the egg yolk is whisked with a bit of cold water.

The two are married in a lovely ceremony involving a fork and a little elbow grease.

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And eventually a disk is formed:  soft, pliable, lovely.

Dough is wrapped in plastic wrap and allowed to rest in the fridge.  This allows the moisture to distribute throughout the dough.

You might take this hour resting period to go out for ice cream.  I did…

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Apricots and figs are artfully sliced.

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This crust is somewhere in between a roll out crust and a press in dough.

I used a removable bottom tart pan.  It feels like a fancy thing to have in the kitchen… but I promise it’s a useful and worthy investment.

The dough is rolled to about 9 to 11-inches, placed in the tart pan, then pressed to shape within the pan.

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Do you have baking beans?  These are the dried beans used to weigh down the tart crust as it bakes without a filling.  I think they sell a thing called ‘pie weights’ too… they’re essentially expensive, inedible beans.

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This tart’s filling is a simple, no-bake situation.  We’ve already put enough love and energy into the crust.

Stir together mascarpone and sour cream.  Add sweetener and vanilla extract and we’re in big business!

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Baked but cool shell meets sweet, cool filling.

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And fruits!

Here’s the part where you can tell that I’m not a trained pastry chef… I don’t line up my fig slices perfectly.  I give them the more rustic (aka piled in there) look.

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This tart is best served slightly chilled, and preferably with a stunning glass of white wine.  Stunning glass of white wine?  Who wrote that?

The crust is a simple but earnest base.  The filling has just a hint of tang and honey sweetness.  The fruit… well it feels expensive and fancy.  More indulgent that criminal.  This recipe is from One Girl Cookie Cookbook.  Inspired!

Fresh Fig, Apricot & Mascarpone Tart

adapted just slight from One Girl Cookie Cookbook

makes 1 9-inch tart

Print this Recipe!

For the Crust:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

3 tablespoons ice water

1 large egg yolk

For the Filling:

1 cup mascarpone cheese

3/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup honey (use up to 1/2 cup honey if you’d like it sweeter)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 fresh apricots, sliced

8 to 12 fresh figs, sliced

extra honey for drizzling (optional)

To make the crust in a medium bowl combine flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, and salt.  Add the cold butter cubes and, using your fingers, quickly break the butter up in the dry ingredients.  Some of the butter pieces will be broken down to the size of small peas, other the size of oat flakes.  Work quickly as to not warm the butter too much with your hands.  Allow to rest in the fridge for just a few moments.

In a small bowl whisk together water and egg yolk.

Remove the butter and flour mixture from the fridge and add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.  Use a fork to bring the two together.  It may at first feel like there’s not enough liquid for the dry ingredients.  Keep working it together with a fork.  Eventually it will come together.  Sprinkle lightly with flour, form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.  This will allow the moisture to distribute.  Crust can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

When ready to roll out, unwrap the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to an 11-inch circle.  If the dough starts to break up or tear as you’re rolling it, don’t panic.  Simple place the dough into the tart pan and use your fingers to press it along the bottom, sides and edges.  If your rolling was successful, carefully place the dough in the tart pan and press it against the sides and edges so no gaps are present.  Cut any excess dough flush with the tart pan.  Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes while the oven preheats.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator.  Line the unbaked crust with a sheet of foil or parchment paper covering all sides.  Fill the pan with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Rotate the pan and bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and beans from the pan and bake for another 6 minutes, or until the bottom crust looks dry and the shell is a very pale golden color.  Remove the pie from the oven and let the shell cool completely.

To make the filling in a medium bowl combine mascarpone and sour cream.  Beat together with a wooden spoon.  Add honey and vanilla extract and stir to combine.  Mixture will be smooth and glossy.

When the crust is completely cool, spread the filling evenly across the bottom of the tart.  Arrange sliced figs and apricots in a circular pattern on top of the filling.  Drizzle with honey just before serving, if you’d like.  This tart will keep, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to two days.  It’s most lovely served the day it’s made.  


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