It’s not often you see fresh figs in the grocery store, but there they were. Beautiful Black Mission Figs. And they were buy one, get one free. How cool is that? Beautiful Black Mission Figs My anniversary was coming up, and I wanted to make something special. Charles Ray has a sweet tooth, and I wanted to create something different, something memorable for dessert. Standing there in the grocery store, I had no idea what I would make, just that it included these plump, ripe, gorgeous Black Mission Figs.
A rustic fig tart came to mind. It would be the perfect sweet ending to our special day. I don’t own a tart pan – something I should probably get one day – so I made it super simple by folding the edges of a refrigerated pie crust over a luscious datil pepper and pistachio cream filling studded with ripe juicy figs.
Once upon a time, I used to make all my pie crusts. The food processor makes it super simple to combine all the ingredients, gather up the dough, roll it in a ball and refrigerate for about an hour before rolling it out on a floured surface. But Pillsbury makes a really good refrigerated pie crust that is quick and easy to use, and it has a nice flaky texture when baked. I just let it sit for a few minutes on the counter before unrolling it and spreading on my filling and those lovely little figs. Couldn’t be simpler than that.
Most fruit tarts are made with almonds in the filling, and I love almonds, but pistachios sounded like a unique and fun combination with the figs. As it turned out, the distinctive flavor of the pistachios, combined with the sweet figs was out of this world.
Pistachios are rich in antioxidants. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, and selenium. And their taste is distinct and buttery.
Fun Fact: Some versions of the Bible include the pistachio in Genesis 43:11. “Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift–a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds.” NIV
Half a cup of pistachios went into the food processor with half a cup of sugar. Once that was perfectly ground, I added an egg, four tablespoons of butter, two teaspoons of flour and one-half teaspoon of vanilla. I am the Datil Pepper Lady, so of course there had to be some heat. Ripe golden datil peppers are dehydrated and then finely ground into a powder to make Nuthin’ But Datil. I added about one-sixteenth of a teaspoon of datil pepper powder for a spicy kick to the filling. This stuff is potent, and a little goes a long way. Of course, you don’t have to add the Datil Pepper, but it sure gives the tart a unique twist. The filling came out thick and creamy, and the taste was amazing. It was going to be a dynamite combination with the figs.
Pistachio Datil Pepper Filling spread onto pie crust.
After unrolling the pie crust, I spread the gooey, pistachio datil pepper filling in the center, leaving about a two inch border of crust. Now it was time for the figs. Each plump, juicy fig was quartered into wedges and placed skin side down on the filling. I cut up too many figs, and I couldn’t let them go to waste, so I savored those little morsels those while the tart baked. Yum.
Fresh Black Mission Figs placed in a starburst pattern on top of the Pistachio Datil Pepper Cream Filling. The next step was to gently fold the edges of the pie crust over the outer ring of figs, pleating it slightly. A second egg, beaten with a half teaspoon of water was brushed on the edges of the crust, and I sprinkled a teaspoon of sugar on top. The gorgeous tart went into the oven for about an hour. After 30 minutes of baking, I used strips of foil to cover the outer edges of the crust so that it didn’t burn. Fresh Fig Tart. Ready to cook. It came out of the oven golden brown, with juicy, baked figs in the center. It was difficult to let it cool enough to cut, but waiting at least 30 minutes to slice it allows the filling to solidify. Otherwise it’ll just run out from under the figs and make a gloppy mess. Force yourself to wait for it. Presentation if everything. And it was worth the wait.
Charles Ray was excited as soon as he saw the Fresh Fig Tart with Datil Pepper Pistachio Cream Filling. He was even more excited after taking that first bite of crispy crust with creamy filling and luscious ripe baked figs. Of course he had to have some vanilla bean ice cream to go with it. Happy Anniversary!
You don’t need a celebration to make this simple, rustic tart, but it was the perfect ending to our meal of blackened tuna steaks with roasted fingerling potatoes and asparagus. We celebrated our 23rd anniversary in style this year.
Fresh Fig Tart With Pistachio Datil Pepper Cream Filling