Thursday, October 6, 2011


My grandmother took 24 hours to get back to me with feedback about my fig tart with blue cheese and honey. I was a bit worried. 

"Here's the thing." 
Big pause from Grandma Phyllis.
"It was very good." 
"Grandma, what is it?"
"I'm just not sure if this is supposed to be lunch or dessert,"

I say it can be both.
Or neither. 
It's a cheese and fruit course slammed together.
It's a teatime treat (yes, we do tea around here).
It's my kind of sweet and savory breakfast combo. 
It's tasty with Sauvignon Blanc.
Or Pinot Noir.
It can be eaten with your fingers.
Or it can be delicately nibbled with my (other) grandmother's fancy ivory-handled dessert forks.
It works with a salad of baby gems and warm anchovy vinaigrette. 
And it's a perfect match for a roast chicken.

And it turns out my kids will eat anything that's drizzled with honey. Even figs baked with lots of stinky Roquefort.

printable recipe
1 recipe for shortcrust pastry dough
3/4 cup goat cheese
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
12-14 figs, halved and stems trimmed off
1/2 cup blue cheese (Roquefort, Stilton, Wisconsin, Gorgonzola—any blue will do)
honey for drizzling
Remove dough from the fridge 10 minutes ahead of time to soften. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough and press into a 9" tart pan. Pre-bake for 10 minutes. The dough might puff up or slide down a bit. Down worry. Just press it back in. Remove from oven and cool while preparing cheese mixture.
In a standing mixer (or by hand), mix together goat cheese, parmesan, egg, heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Spread cheese evenly into the bottom of the pre-baked shell. Place sliced figs cut side up  haphazardly or carefully on top of the cheese mixture. Crumble (if dry) or scoop (if creamy) chunks of blue cheese all over the tart. Bake until cheese base is set and figs are nicely browned (you might need to throw it under the broiler for a minute for optimum color). Drizzle honey all over the tart. Please don't serve it cold. It's icky cold.