Fig and Goat Cheese Tart

by angelika on October 4, 2010

I love figs, no… I worship figs. I think they are one of the most wonderful, succulent and delicious foods that we have on this earth. I love that they can be paired with sweet or savory dishes and, in both,  the fig will shine. Nothing pleases me more than arriving at the market to see tables of fresh figs. Often we see several kinds of fig to choose from! For my Fig Tart I used black mission figs. I have not tried this dish with dried figs, but somehow I don’t think it would be the same.

Fig and Goat Cheese Tart

2 onions, half moon slivers
2 TBS butter
pinch salt
1 8oz package of chèvre, room temp
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper 
1 pint fresh figs
1-2 TBS balsamic vinegar reduction, or just balsamic 
This recipe is really very simple and can be made ahead of time. You can either assemble ahead and bake, or even bake and then serve room temperature. This is another favorite buffet item of mine. 
The first step is to make the crust. By now you are masters of the pie crust, right? Just follow the instructions from the apple pie recipe. For this tart you will only use half of the recipe, so save the other half for a rainy day. I have some mini tart pans that I fill with the extra crust and then freeze. This way I have a quick appetizer whenever I need one. Frankly, I almost always double the crust recipe and then freeze the other half. Make sure to freeze it in two pieces if you double the recipe. That way you have a top and bottom ready to go. When the crust is ready and waiting, dishes like Totra de Chard, and Vegetable Pot Pie become weekday night dinners instead of Sunday dinner. 
When the crust is resting you want to caramelize the onions. For this purpose you want your onions very soft, almost turned into onion jam. I will let you in on a little secret, I am not always the most patient person. I have, in the past, rushed this process. The result is almost disastrous. The last thing you want is crunchy strings of onion pulling out when you cut the tart. So go slow and make sure they are all the way there. The thinner you slice the onions the faster this process will go. Also, make sure to use a big enough pan or pot. You want them to fit pretty close to a single layer on the bottom. I used one red onion and one yellow, just to see if they made a difference. I usually use two red. Melt the butter, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Let them saute on medium low until the melt down and are brown and caramelized. 
just starting

after about 40 minutes

Set the onions aside. Preheat oven to 425º. Prepare the chèvre by smashing it in a bowl with a fork. Add the pressed garlic and thyme. Salt and pepper, taste and add more salt if you want. If you prefer a creamier cheese add a few TBS of milk or cream and stir until you get the desired consistency. Otherwise the cheese is more crumbly. I have done it both ways, but baby girl doesn’t do as well with cow milk so I left this just the goat cheese. 
Roll out your crust. You can use any kind of tart pan you like, but make sure it has the loose bottom. Makes it so much easier to remove. I used this fancy rectangular pan, because I like the look of it. Once you have the crust placed into the pan you layer the ingredients. First the onions, I like to spread them out using tongs
Next you spread out the cheese and then layer your figs. I took off the stem from the fig and sliced them in half. Arrange the figs some sort of pattern. 
Bake at 425º for 30-50 minutes depending on the size. Mine went 40, a large round tart might go longer, mini tarts less. It will also depend how thick you roll the dough. Look for the edges to be golden brown. 

finished baking

The last thing we do to finish the tart is to drizzle it with balsamic. You can use balsamic vinegar, or a balsamic reduction. To reduce balsamic vinegar to a syrup you place it in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, whisking often. Then turn the heat to a simmer and whisk often for about 10-15 minutes until it is reduced by half. Add a tsp of brown sugar and a bit of butter for 8 oz of vinegar starting. It should be a thin syrup at this point. Once it cools it will be a thick syrup. Delicious for finishing lots of dishes!

For dinner we paired this appetizer with roasted brussels sprouts and a Quorn cutlet. If you think you don’t like brussels sprouts try roasting them. 400º oven, oiled and salted liberally, for about 20-30 minutes flipping after 15.  They are seriously divine. Like buttery salty popcorn almost, and they melt in your mouth. 
If you are wondering what a Quorn cutlet is, this is one of those sort of fake meat nugget and cutlet companies. The thing is, I normally despise fake meat. I think isolated soy protein is not food, and I would never let my family eat it. I think wheat gluten isn’t very digestible and we don’t eat that either. Quorn is a mycoprotein, from mushrooms, and it is actually a whole food. My son loves these, as does his Daddy. So we splurge now and again, especially when asking small kids to eat brussels sprouts. 

Sunday dinner

a votre santé!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

lyndsay November 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm

thank you angelika for sharing this recipe! can't wait to try! found you through a google search for goat cheese and fig tart! ^__^


Angelika November 4, 2011 at 1:05 am

Hi Lyndsay, I hope you love it as much as we do!


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