Warm Puff Pastry Tart with Fig, Olive, Capers and Goat’s Cheese

by thomandaimee

To showcase the versatility of the fig, we decided to do a savoury dish instead of the usual sweet suspects. It was either this, or another puff pastry fig tart with crème pâtissière and homemade cinnamon ice cream (it sounds really good at the moment). The savoury one won in the end, and we do not regret it one bit. In fact, we actually applaud ourselves for making this decision.

In our short history of tart making, this is by far and honestly the best dish I’ve ever eaten. So much so I wished we had made more so that I could have the whole tart myself. I mean, just look at it! It just draws you in with the bright contrast of colours: crispy golden brown pastry, lush flame-red baked figs, soft milky white goat’s cheese and dark shiny olives.

And with one bite, you’ll be lost in a combust of flavours – the sweet caramelised onions at the bast, the fragrance of the thyme and toasted pine nuts, the sharpness of the olives and capers, the tang of the cheese that amazingly brought out all the star quality of the figs. It was practically orgasmic.

Of course, puff pastry is always a roadblock but if you’re not keen on rolling out your own dough, there are some good quality ready-made puff pastry sheets available in the market. It saves up plenty of time and still tastes good. Yes, we are lazy sometimes. Making puff pastry from scratch can be satisfying but there are those days you just want to lie down under the sun with a glass of white wine and a scrumptious slice of tart. Lazy afternoons are our guilty pleasure.

Warm Puff Pastry Tart with Fig, Olive, Capers and Goat’s Cheese
By Geoffrey Smeddle

Serves 4

2 large onions, peeled and chopped finely
olive oil
1 knob of butter
150ml of double cream
1 sheet of puff pastry, rolled out to about 30cm by 40cm
1 egg, lightly beaten with a dash of milk
1 log of goats’ cheese
2 fresh figs
1 tbsp of mini capers
1 tbsp of black olives, stones removed
1 tsp of thyme leaves, picked
2 tbsp of pine nuts
salt
black pepper

Directions

Heat a wide-based pan and add a film of olive oil, then the onions. Season well with salt and fry them at low heat, allowing the onions to soften. Stir regularly, adding the knob of butter after five minutes.

Continue cooking until the onions have totally collapsed and are soft to the bite, then add the cream and allow it to boil. Transfer to a food processor and blitz to a smooth purée. Season to taste and set aside.

Set the oven to 200˚C/Gas mark 6. Place the puff pastry on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Cover the pastry sheet with another piece of parchment paper then place another flat baking sheet on top. Cook in the oven for around 15 minutes or until golden, turning the tray halfway through. Once it is a pale gold, remove the pastry from the oven and brush it with egg wash, returning it to the oven for 2 minutes to glaze. Once cooled, store in an airtight container until needed or cover tightly in cling film.

Set the oven to 190˚C/Gas mark 5. Spread the onion purée across the pastry base. Slice the goats cheese into rounds about 0.5cm thick then arrange them across the pastry sheet. Slice the figs into slim wedges and arrange them leaning against the cheese and across the tart. Scatter the olives, pine nuts and capers over the pastry before sprinkling the thyme leaves on it.

Drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, and bake in the oven until the cheese starts to soften – it should take about 7 minutes.

Using the parchment paper to help you, slide the tart on to a serving platter, drizzle with a touch more olive oil and finish with a last sprinkling of pepper. Serve warm.

TIPS

It’s best not to take your eyes off the onions while they’re cooking on low heat – you would want soft translucent onions and not fried onions. If the low heat gets a little too hot, take the pan off the heat for a short while then place it back on the stove again.

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