Serve this delicious fig and goat's cheese tart by chef Yotam Ottolenghi for afternoon tea, or with ice-cream for dessert. The yeasted pastry in this recipe can be replaced with a sheet of commercial all-butter puff pastry of similar dimensions.
- 150 g light goat’s cheese, skin removed
- 85 g icing sugar
- ½ tsp grated orange rind
- 3 tsp chopped thyme leaves, plus picked leaves to garnish
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 100 g almond meal (ground almonds)
- 600 g ripe figs, halved
- 3 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 265 g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp fast-action yeast
- ½ lemon, rind grated
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 60 ml (¼ cup) water
- ½ tsp salt
- 75 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2 cm cubes
- sunflower oil, for greasing
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Proving time 20 minutes
Chilling time 6 hours
To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar, yeast and rind in the bowl of an electric mixer and use a dough hook attachment on low speed for 1 minute to stir everything together.
Add the eggs and water and work for a few seconds on low speed, then increase speed to medium and knead for 3 minutes, until dough comes together. Add the salt and start adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until it all melts into the dough. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes on medium speed, or until the dough is completely smooth, elastic and shiny. You will need to scrape down side of bowl a few times during the kneading process and dust side of bowl with a small amount of flour so that all dough leaves the side.
Place dough in a large bowl brushed with sunflower oil, cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least half a day, preferably overnight. It will increase in volume, but only by 20–30%.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
To make a goat’s cheese cream, whisk together the cheese, 10 g of the icing sugar, orange rind, thyme and 1½ of the 2 beaten eggs, until smooth. Stir through the almond meal and mix until a smooth, thick consistency. Set aside.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll pastry into a 5 mm–thick square, about 28 cm x 28 cm. Trim edges to make an even square. Roll pastry around a rolling pin to transfer it onto prepared tray. Spread over the goat’s cheese mix, leaving a border of about 1.5 cm. Brush remaining egg over border. Stand the figs on top, slightly overlapping, as they will shrink when cooking. Sprinkle the caster sugar over the figs, cover tart with foil and set aside to prove in a place for 20 minutes.
Remove foil and place tart in oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the figs are caramelised and base of pastry is golden brown.
While the tart is baking, make a thin icing by whisking together the remaining icing sugar and the lemon juice, until thick yet spreadable (add more juice or icing sugar if necessary).
Remove the tart from the oven and use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the figs. Scatter with some picked thyme leaves and eat warm or at room temperature.