Fig, Cream Cheese and Mint Tart
- 1 quantity of home made pastry shortcrust pastry (see recipe) or 500g shop-bought shortcrust pastry
- Plan flour, for dusting
- 260ml whipping cream
- 165g cream cheese
- 3 big squidges of honey
- 1 tbsp marsala
- 12-16 figs, each cut into 6 pieces
- Handful of green shelled pistachios, walnuts of pecans, halved
- 1 bunch of fresh mint, ripped or roughly torn
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4.
2. Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface to the thickness of half a £1 coin and use it to carefully line a 20 x 30cm rectangular fluted tin.
3. Homemade pastry is short and so will be quite crumbly. Don't be alarmed by this, you can patch it together in the tin.
4. Take a small ball of the pastry (the size of a £1 coin) and use it to gently ease the dough down into the tin.
5. Press the handle of a wooden spoon against the pastry all round the edges to coax it into the fluted grooves.
6. Trim off the excess around the top and run a thin knife between the pastry and the edge of the tin to loosen.
7. Put in the fridge for about 15 minutes, or until firm.
8. Remove the tart from the fridge. Take a piece of baking paper slightly larger than the tin and scrunch it up, then un-scrunch it and line the tin with it.
9. Fill it with baking beans or dried beans and 'blind bake' in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry feels sandy to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside.
For the filling:
1. Put the cream in a bowl and whip until it begins to thicken, then fold it into the cream cheese and mix with the honey and Marsala, if using.
2. Put the filling in the tart case, then arrange the figs on top and scatter over the nuts and mint. Serve with a sweet wine such as Asti.
3. Figs and mint are delicious so sprinkling some torn mint leaves overt the tart works really well. This tart is best eaten on the day it is made.
Recipe courtesy of Lorraine Pascale, Baking Made Easy HarperCollins, 2012 (£20) Photography courtesy of Myles New