Oh, you tart!

Don’t get me wrong I love baking sweet things, but sometimes it’s nice to have something savoury in the house. So…this weekend I thought I’d have a go at making a fig, lardon and dolcelatte tart. I found the recipe in Eric Landlard’s book ‘Tart it Up!’ which is full of experimental sweet and savoury dishes. The combination of the melted dolcelatte cheese, salty lardons, sweet baked figs infused with thyme and crumbly pecan pastry works beautifully. I served it with a fresh garden salad and pleased to say it went down an absolute storm at lunchtime.

So here’s how (serves 8): 

  • 4-5 ripe figs cut into quarters
  • 100g lardons
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 2 eggs
  • 50ml milk
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 150g dolcelatte cheese

For the pecan pastry:

  • 150g chilled unsalted butter
  • 250g plain flour
  • 100g pecans, chopped in a food processor (Eric uses walnuts)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-t tbsp chilled water

To make the pastry: 

  1. Grease a 20cm round tart tin
  2. Mix flour, salt and pecans together then rub in butter
  3. Stir in yolk and gradually add water until the mixture binds together
  4. Roll the pastry into a round ball, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and line tin with it. Prick the base all over with a fork and then chill for 30 minutes

To blind bake the pastry:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)
  2. Place a large piece of baking paper inside the pastry case and fill with ceramic beads
  3. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until pastry is cooked
  4. Remove the ceramic beads and return to the oven for 10 minutes until the edges of the pastry are golden

For the tart filling: 

  1. Arrange the figs over the base of the tart and bake for 10-12 minutes until they begin to soften
  2. Fry the lardons in some oil until they begin to colour and leave to one side
  3. Mix mascarpone, beaten eggs and milk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add chopped thyme.
  4. Scatter lardons and crumbled dolcelatte over the figs and pour the mascarpone mixture over the top
  5. Garnish with a few sprigs of thyme and bake in 200C (180C fan) oven for 25-30 minutes until the filling is firm and golden
  6. Serve either hot or cold with a fresh salad







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