Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fresh fig tart with chocolate / parmesan breadsticks

I love fresh figs but sadly their annual presence in the grocery stores is so fleeting. We are fortunate to love near Fresno , California, a major fig growing location, so we can get our hands on figs earlier in the year than most fig lovers. Fresno even hosts an annual fig festival. Fresh figs are available in August for about a month. After that it's back to dried figs and fig newtons.

With the first couple of baskets of figs I bought this year I made a fig tart. There's isn't an exact recipe but the tart is very simple with few ingrediants.

Chop up 1-2 baskets of figs and cook them in a saucepan with the juice from 2 lemons and a little bit of sugar until they are tender. Cool the figs and then puree them in a food processor. For the crust I used packaged puff pastry. Place one sheet of pastry on a baking baking pan lined with parchment paper. Fold up the edges of the puff pastry as best you can to make a border to contain the fig puree. Spread the puree over the pastry. Bake at 375F until the puff pastry is golden brown. When the tart is cool, melt some chocolate with a little cream in a double boiler. Drizzle the chocolate over the tart. I also added some walnuts with the chocolate. Enjoy the fig-deliciousness!
With the second sheet of puff pastry I made some parmesan breadsticks. Roll out the pastry so it is a bit thinner and larger. Spread on a very thin layer of spicy brown mustard. On half the sheet of pastry, spread some grated parmesan or other cheese. Fold the pastry in half so that the cheese is covered. Crimp the edges closed. Roll out the pastry just a little bit so that the cheese is pressed into the dough. Cut the pastry into strips about 3/8" wide. Twist each strip into a spiral and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375F until golden brown.

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