When I was out in California to visit my parents at the end of August a nearby fig tree had provided an abundance of figs, so my mother made a fig tart. It was nothing short of delicious. While it's unlikely I'll ever make this treat, since fresh figs cost so much in New York City, I'm sharing this recipe for anyone blessed with a fig tree (which there are apparently an abundance of in Brooklyn.)
The shots here are of my mother making the tart and the tart before it went into the oven. It was just too pretty not to shoot—and then it got gobbled up before I had a chance to capture it baked.
Easy Summer Fruit Tart from the New York Times
1 and 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
11 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 1/2 to 3 pounds fruit like peaches, nectarines, figs, apricots, plums
6 tablespoons red currant jelly, or other preserves, depending on fruit
1. Blend flour, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl or food processor. Dice 8 tablespoons of the butter. Use a pastry blender or two knives to blend flour mixture and butter, or pulse them together in a food processor to make a crumbly mixture. Beat the egg yolk with 3 tablespoons cold water. Dribble it over the flour mixture, then stir or pulse slowly until the mixture starts clumping together. A bit more water may be necessary. Gather dough in a loose ball and form into a disk on a lightly floured surface.
2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough and line a 10-inch loose-bottom tart pan. Line pastry with a sheet of foil and spread pastry weights or dry beans on top. Bake 12 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter, cooking it on low until it turns a light nut brown. Pit fruit (except figs) and cut in eighths or, if fruit is small, fourths. After 12 minutes, remove foil and weights from pastry. Return pastry to oven and continue baking until it is lightly browned, another 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pastry from oven and increase temperature to 400 degrees.
3. Brush pastry with preserves. Arrange fruit in tight concentric circles, starting by placing it around the perimeter, skin side down, against the vertical sides of the pastry and standing it up as much as possible. Brush with melted butter. Dust with remaining sugar. Bake about 35 to 40 minutes, until edges have browned but fruit has not collapsed. Cool before serving.