Time really does fly when you’re having fun…and what fun I’ve had this past week! From celebrating my wedding anniversary to transforming my backyard into an urban vegetable garden to making some yummy desserts, this staycation has definitely been a blast!!
One luxury of my time off has been to indulge in longer baking sessions than I would normally have time for during a regular work week. As such, I was able to develop this tart recipe. This was a perfectly sweeet ending to my weeklong staycation.
Roasted Fig and Mascarpone Tart with Candied Walnuts
Yields five mini tarts
For Pâte Sablée crust
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used almond extract to accentuate the almond flavor)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter, almond/sugar mixture and salt on medium speed until well-combined. Slowly add the flour and remaining sugar until well mixed. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Place the dough in between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll it out to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out four 6- inch rounds and fit them into four mini tart pans, patting the dough in with your fingertips if it breaks as you transfer the dough into the pans. Prick the dough with a fork and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Place a piece of parchment paper inside the tart shells, fill with beans or pie weights. Bake the shells for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks and remove the pie weights.
For the Roasted Figs
It’s hard for me to quantify the amounts used for this recipe. Put in what feels right. Personally, I like things on the sweet side (Shocking, I know!) so I tend to use more honey.
15 figs, halved or quartered depending on size
unsalted butter, as needed to dot the top of the figs (see photo)
honey, to taste to drizzle on top of the figs
zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon orange-flavored liquer, or more to taste (I used Grand Marnier)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Arrange the figs in a baking dish. Dot each fig with a little butter and then drizzle with honey. Combine the zest, juice, and liquer in a small bowl and pour over the figs. Roast the figs until brown, basting with the juices occasionally.
For the Mascarpone Filling
8 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
Juice and zest of an orange
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream and almond extract to medium stiff peaks. Transfer to another bowl and set aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the mousse.
In the bowl of the stand mixer, whisk together mascarpone cheese and honey, orange zest and orange juice and mix thoroughly until incorporated. Taste the mousse and adjust flavors to taste. Carefully fold the reserved whipped cream into the mascarpone base, scooping the bottom over the top, until the mousse is fully incorporated and smooth.
For the Candied Walnuts
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
5 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Stir honey, sugar, butter, salt, and orange zest in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts. Cook until mixture boils and is deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Mix in walnuts. Pour out onto sheet of foil; cool completely. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. May be done up to 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
To Assemble the Tarts
Fill a pastry bag with the mouse and pipe into the cooled tart shells. Arrange the roasted figs on top, as desired. Sprinkle with candied walnuts.
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