So the husband said this is by far the best tart crust I have ever made. I’m flattered, and also a bit sad because I’ve made SO MANY TARTS BEFORE. He told me this has been the flakiest crust I’ve made. And quite honestly, it was so flakey because I got really lazy when making the tart (it was late at night and I knew it needed to be par-barked). I didn’t (a) make sure the dough was consistently moist all the way around and (b) I barely kneaded it. But apparently, the phrase, “Less is more,” is for realsies. Reminder to self: when making tarts, less is always more when it comes to the crust.
I’m just gonna say it. I like savory tarts more. That’s why I made a cheese custard one. It’s sooooooo good for breakfast/brunch. I purposely made this tart with cream cheese to give a subtle cheese flavor but also because I wanted this to resemble a quiche in some sorts. I used eggs and some heavy cream to give it that dense, rich, and luxurious mouth feel like they do in a quiche. I purposely didn’t shave in any cheeses into the tart because I was going to add toppings. I wanted the bulk of the flavors to come from the toppings – like figs.
It’s undeniably fig season right now. And I’m in heaven. These green figs were such a GORGEOUS color on the inside. They were a tad bit on the small size but they worked better for the tart. I love a mixture of sweet and savory. The figs added the sweetness needed to the tart. The freshness from the fig against the creaminess of the custard and salinity of the prosciutto are just the perfect counter balances to each other. Also, blink and fig season is over (SAD FACE).
These facts about figs really blew my mind this weekend. Husband found some gif on @reddit about why we don’t eat male figs. I decided to dig around just to make sure what I learned was true. First, figs are not fruits; they’re inverted flowers. And because they bloom internally, figs need some help with pollination. Figs are dioecious which means there are males and females. The male figs are not edible. Their sole purpose is for pollination. Female wasps crawl into male figs to lay their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, they escape the male fig and find their way into a female fig and pollinate it. Now this is when things get a bit gnarly. There is no escape route and there is no room inside a female fig for the wasp to get out. The wasp will die inside the fig. The female fig has an enzyme called ficin to break down the wasp into protein which the fig will absorb. Sometimes, the exoskeleton of the wasp doesn’t break down completely. This is the slight crunch you get when eating a fig – it’s extra protein. Some vegans choose to not eat figs for this particular reason. I learned all these facts but still ate all the figs that were on this tart. Savage? Or realistic?
Fig and Cheese Custard Tart
- Tart Crust
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3-5 tablespoons cold water
- Cheese Custard
- 8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature and cubed
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Onion Jam
- Step 1 In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and sugar. Add the cold butter and using either a dough blender or a butter knife, cut the butter into the flour until the butter are small pea sized pieces.
- Step 2 Add 3 tablespoons of cold water and form a dough with hands. Add additional tablespoons of water as needed for the dough to form. Do not add too much water and do not overwork the dough.
- Step 3 Make a disc with the dough and wrap with saran wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour before use (overnight is best).
- Step 4 Preheat oven to 350F.
- Step 5 Dust working surface with flour and roll out dough to fit a 14″x4.5″ tart pan.
- Step 6 Poke holes into the dough with a fork.
- Step 7 Bake for 35 minutes until lightly browned.
- Step 8 While tart crust is cooling, make filling.
- Step 9 In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with eggs (one egg at a time) until smooth. Add cream, salt, and pepper.
- Step 10 Pour custard into tart shell and smooth out surface.
- Step 11 Bake again for 35 minutes at 350F.
- Step 12 Allow tart to cool completely before adding toppings.