11/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon. salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons chilled butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
12 to 16 ripe figs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and then add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms very fine crumbs. You can also do this in a bowl, cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork. With the machine running, add the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the ice water (adding more if needed) and process until the dough comes together. Remove dough from food processor bowl and shape it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for about 15 minutes. Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle and put it in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough evenly into the tart pan. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to look perfect. Prick the bottom of the tart shell with a fork in 8 or 10 places, and then put the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes while you heat the oven to 425°F. Put the chilled tart shell on a baking sheet, line the shell with foil, and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake until it’s lightly colored, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the tart and reduce the oven temperature to 400°F; remove the weights and foil.
To make the filling
Cut off the stems of the figs (leave the skins on) and slice the figs in half ( if they’re large, you may choose to quarter them).
Arrange the figs, cut side up, on the tart shell. Whisk the egg yolk, sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined.
Carefully spoon the custard around but not over the figs.
Bake the tart on the baking sheet in the 400°F oven until the custard is lightly colored and set, about 30 minutes. Serve slightly warm.
From January 20, 2006: Here’s another recipe from my friend Donna. She got it from her Tassajara Cookbook. I made 3 mini loaves instead of one big loaf and they baked for 30 to 35 minutes. I also used white grape juice in the recipe (I didn’t have apple or orange juice) and all purpose flour (instead or pastry flour) and it all turned out well.
1 cup apple or orange juice (both are good)
1 1/2 cups dried figs, de-stemmed but left whole (I cut in half)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon or orange rind, grated
1 3/4 cups pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heat the juice almost to boiling and pour it over figs, salt and butter in a mixing bowl. Stir to melt and set aside in the refrigerator to cool. Beat eggs, then beat in the sugar, vanilla and fruit rind. Stir this into well cooled (room temperature) fig mixture. Sift the flour together with the baking powder and baking soda. Mix into the wet ingredients with a minimum number of strokes. Grease and flour medium sized loaf pan (I used 8.5 X 4.5 size) pour in the batter, and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.