RECIPE

Honey Mascarpone Tart with a Pistachio Crust and Fresh Figs

Autumn is nearly here to be savoured… so make the most of autumn’s harvest with a seasonal tart of sticky, sweet and creamy flavours.


SERVES:
8-12
People

COOKING TIME:
30 minutes prep + overnight chilling time
Bake - 30 minutes


INGREDIENTS:

For the pastry:

- 100g ground pistachio nuts

- 250g plain flour

- 200g chilled butter, cubed

- 2 heaped tbsp of icing sugar

- 1 egg, lightly beaten

- pinch of sea salt

For the filling:

- 200g mascarpone cheese

- 350ml double cream

- 4 tbsp icing sugar

- 1 tbsp honey

- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

For the topping:

- 300g (approx) fresh figs

- A handful of coarsely chopped pistachios

- A drizzle of honey

- Fresh edible or non toxic flowers to decorate (optional)

METHOD:

1 - Make the pastry. In a food processor, blitz the pistachios with a tablespoon of flour until coarsely ground. Add the remaining flour, icing sugar and salt with the chilled butter and blitz until the butter has been incorporated into the flour and resembles coarse sand. Add the egg a little at a time ( you may not need all the egg ) and pulse until a soft dough is formed. Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap in greaseproof paper and place in the fridge to chill for an hour.

 

2 - When chilled, roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Press into the flan or pie dish, patching together any cracks in the pastry. Prick the base with a fork and using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to line up with the top of the tart tin. Place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.

 

3 - Preheat the oven to 180 ºC.

 

4 - Remove the tart crust from the fridge and line with parchment paper or tin foil and fill with ceramic baking beans or dried beans/lentils. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so, then carefully remove the paper/foil and the beans and bake for a further ten minutes, until the crust looks golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.

5 - While the pastry is cooling, make the filling. Whisk the mascarpone in a food mixer or by hand until smooth. In a separate clean bowl whisk the double cream with the vanilla until soft and thick.

 

6 - Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone with the icing sugar and the honey.

 

7 - Once the pastry is completely cool to the touch, spoon the mascarpone cream into the pastry case while still in the tin. Fill to the top and gently smooth over the surface.

 

8 - Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.

 

9 - When chilled, or just before serving, remove the tart from the fridge and carefully remove from the tin, placing on a serving plate.

10 - Chop the figs into quarters or slices and position in the centre of the tart. Drizzle a spoonful of runny honey over the figs. Roughly chop a handful of pistachios and scatter over the top.

 

11 - You could also add a few fresh edible or non toxic flowers to decorate. I used Sedum flowers.

 

12 - Serve immediately, adding more figs and another drizzle of honey to each individual slice if desired. The tart should keep well for a couple of days if stored in the fridge.


Notes:

- The tart can be made in advance and frozen. The raw dough can be frozen in a disc or while in the tart tin prior to baking. The finished mascarpone tart can be frozen
without any of the toppings, wrapped well in tinfoil and a plastic freezer bag. Allow to defrost at room temperature before serving.

- Substitute the figs for other fruits. Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries also work well.

- Use other nuts for the pastry in place of the pistachios. Walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts are good options.

- Consider using a different shaped tin - long rectangular tart tin for instance or make small individual tarts instead of one big tart. Please note the baking time of the
pastry may change if using different sized tins. Smaller tarts will bake much quicker than the large single tart. If unable to find a loose bottomed tin then grease the inside of the tin and place a disc of baking parchment on the base to avoid sticking.

Recipe by Sarah Hemsley | A Slow Gathering


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