Wednesday, October 19, 2011

fig tarte with crème pâtissière.

i run my finger on the surface, 
it feels like leathery skin.
who would know that the inside
is soft, moist and full of fertile seeds?

i simmer the fruit, 
they are wading in the water.
i tumble them about.
a cut reveals the flesh, 
a burst of colors, 
befitting of an autumn tree, 
shades of red and purple.

they find their bed
in a soft pillow of vanilla cream.

one of my favorite autumn fruit.
figs make a great eye-catcher
add a subtle, unique flavor to any dessert or composition.

try poaching them in wine, 
the flavor is superb.

this is a simple vanilla tarte, 
made special with this exceptional fruit.

fig tarte with crème pâtissière
one tarte, 22 cm in diameter

pâte brisée:

100g butter
60g powdered sugar
10g eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
large pinch of salt
165g all-purpose flour
 crème pâtissière:
 500g milk
100g sugar
45g cornstarch
80g egg yolks (4 egg yolks)
1/2 vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
25g butter

4 medium sized figs

1 1/2 cups water
50g powdered sugar
2 tbsp honey

make pâte brisée: 
cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt.
add flour, blend well.
chill for at least 1 hour before rolling it out.
 then roll the dough around 3-4mm thick, then press into your tarte form.
poke the bottoms with a fork, to avoid air bubbles.
bake for around 15 minutes, or until golden-brown at 180 degrees celcius.
let cool.

make crème pâtissière.
heat milk with sugar, vanilla and salt.
meanwhile beat egg yolks and cornstarch until thick.
make sure, that your milk is only heated slightly, then add your egg mix, stirring constantly.
it's important that your milk isn't too hot, or else the egg yolks will scramble.
turn up heat and wait for the creme to boil, stirring constantly.
let it boil shortly, don't forget stirring, then take from heat and keep on stirring on a cold water bath.
when it has cooled off to about 70 degrees celcius, add the cut butter and stir.
now you may pour your creme into your pie shell and spread it smoothly with a spatula.
let cool.

prepare the figs:
to poach the figs, stir the sugar and honey into the water and bring to a simmer.
place the figs in the water and simmer for around 10 minutes, "tumbling" them about occasionally.

let cool, then cut into fourths.
place them decoratively on your tarte.