ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Rustic Citrusy Fig Tart for Foodie Friday

Hello friends. Happy Friday to you all- the best day of the week as it's Foodie Friday! 

Please join us at Gollum's and bring your appetite!

It's been a bit of a rough day at Casa Bramasole. We have had a VERY uninvited houseguest since yesterday and he's on a mission to take out every family member in turn- which of course means no sleep for Mama. Yes, this is a very nasty tummy bug and I am hereby ordering him to leave this house. I'm feeling a bit wonky now too :(

I was asked by a friend to help her set up some appetizers for a very casual get-together at her home tonight. She is entertaining some associates of her husband's and since it will be a casual grill by the firepit, she wanted something elegant yet rustic. 

My family has always been a bunch of devoted fig lovers. We eagerly wait for those first creamy ripe fruits to start splitting on the trees so we can hustle them into the house, stuff our faces, and then get to the business of luscious jams, tarts, appetizers, and of course grills.

Except for this year.

Our harvest was decimated while we were away.

I don't care if they are relative's of sweet little Bambi- no fig-loving jury would blame me for harboring thoughts of murder

Hey guys! You missed one!!

When they're in season, I always have figs, either fresh or in some other iteration, as part of an antipasto platter and cheese boards. Today, I made a fresh fig tart using some Fig/ Orange Preserves I had made last season (you can easily substitute a good quality store- bought. I believe Dalmation makes one). I cooked down some fresh lemons and African oranges and layered them under the figs in a sweet pastry crust. Topped with some glazed oranges, this is the perfect accompaniment to a board containing roasted heirloom tomato slices and some gorgeous Buratto cheese. Serve with a good crusty bread to soak up the savory goodness.

You can certainly arrange the figs in perfect concentric circles and make the presentation "fancier" but this is all about the figs and a casual evening with friends

Buratta (technically translates to "buttered")- look at that buttery, creamy goodness! Fabulous melted into hot pasta, by the way...

Buratta cheese is a delicacy not to be missed- more than worth the price. From Wikipedia:


Burrata starts out much like mozzarella and many other cheeses, with rennet used to curdle the warm milk. But then, unlike other cheeses, fresh mozzarella curdsare plunged into hot whey or lightly salted water, kneaded and pulled to develop the familiar stretchy strings (pasta filata), then shaped in whatever form is desired.
When making Burrata, the still-hot cheese is formed into a pouch, which is then filled with scraps of leftover mozzarella and topped off with fresh cream (panna) before closing. The finished Burrata is traditionally wrapped in the leaves of asphodel, tied to form a little brioche-like topknot, and moistened with a little whey. The asphodel leaves should still be green when the cheese is served, to indicate the cheese’s freshness. More recently the cheese is often sold in a plastic bag or container

[edit]Serving indications

When the Burrata is sliced open, its ritagli-thickened panna (cream) flows out. The cheese has a rich, buttery flavor, and retains its fresh milkiness. It is best when eaten within 24 hours, and is considered past its prime after 48 hours.

Rustic Citrus Fig Tart

3 lemons-thin skinned ( you don't want a thick, white pith- you'll be eating this!)
3 oranges- thin skinned
1/2 cup sugar
about 2 1/2 pounds (more or less) of ripe figs, slice most of them and leave 7 or 8 whole
about 3/4 cup fig orange spread
fennel seeds- optional (my Nonna liked them- I had none available today)

Poke the lemons and oranges with a fork and place in a large pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Pour out water, refill, and repeat twice. The third time, boil for about 3 minutes- fruit should be tender, but not mushy. Cool, and slice very thinly. Bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil, add sliced fruit and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Drain slices well reserving syrup.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 tblsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter slightly softened, cut in pieces
1 x-lge egg yolk
a few tblsp ice water (maybe 1/4 cup, at most)

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, butter, and egg yolk. Pulse to mix and with motor running, drizzle in just enough ice water to pull dough together. Gather it into a disk, wrap in plastic and refigerate for about an hour and a half.
remove from fridge and roll out between sheets of plastic (this is a soft, sticky dough- use the plastic) till it's large enough to line the bottom and sides of a 9-10 inch tart pan with a removeable bottom.
Nowslide the bottom layer of plastic over your forearm and gently flip the round of pastry into your tart pan. Do not remove the plastic yet! Gently press into place and put the whole thing in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Now peel off the plastic and proceed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread preserves on bottom of tart crust. Spread well drained fruit slices on top. Pile fig slices over all. Take reserved whole figs and cut in 8 wedges from bottom to tip- don't cut all the way through. Place whole figs randomly on tart, point side down, slightly opening the wedges. Drizzle just a bit of the reserved syrup on top. Sprinkle with fennel seeds if desired. Bake for about 50 minutes. The tips of the whole figs will look slightly charred. Cool completely and refrigerate for a bit to firm it up. If the figs and citrus are very juicy and the finished tart looks TOO wet, use a bulb baster and just remove some liquid- a tip from Nonna Norma :)

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. I wish I knew someone with a fig tree! This looks SOOO good. I am the only person at my house who likes figs. I grew up eating them with milk and sugar for breakfast in season. I'm afraid I would have to take out a loan to buy 2 1/2 pounds at the farmers' market! :) Hope everyone feels better!

  2. Susan...You may know someone. I have a brown turkey fig house next to my house. I just picked oodles. So have my neighbors.

  3. What a sad thing to have your fig tree ruined by deer. Your tart looks so good. What a yummy treat.

  4. Hi ladies we love figs too. We had a fig tree in our other home but nothing grows well here. i had an uncle(he passed away) and would pick figs from trees he saw in neighborhood!I love your tart and what a great idea. Hope you all feel better soon. Take care and many thanks ladies,Emelia hugs...

  5. You know I don't think I have ever eatten a fig. Looks really good and sounds good when I read the recipe :)
    I hope everyone feels good soon and I hope you don't get sick, too! Mom's should be immune to sickness...wouldn't that be the best!

  6. I had my first fresh fig just this past year. I couldn't believe how Martha Stewart was going on and on about them, well then I knew. It was absolutely delicious. This looks like a gorgeous and delicious tart. I would love to try the cheese but have never seen it around here. Have fun with the ice cream maker. Glad it was such a surprise today.

  7. Pattie and Allie, I hope you and all of the family feel better very soon. You really provide a great education on food and eating. I think you are a true "foodie!" You really know how to cook, and some very exotic dishes! I don't think I've ever eaten figs other than fig newton cookies - what a deprived childhood I had. lol Thanks for sharing your great recipes plus information about the cheeses, etc, with your readers - we love your blog!!!
    Blessings, Beth

  8. Our neighbors have a fig tree that they let us pick to our heart's content, but the crows got them all this year. Your tart looks delish~ I'm glad to know about Buratta cheese, thanks for sharing this! Hope you feel better :-)

  9. my mother in law has a fig tree growing in her yard, they aren't quite ripe yet, but I am waiting....your tart is on the top of my list!!

  10. I have never tried figs and see them in more and more recipes lately... you definetly make me want to try your recipe!
    Thanks for sharing!

  11. I have yet to make anything with figs !!

  12. I know your neighbor is going to miss you when you move!

    I do love figs. Sadly, when I eat them, they're usually the dried kind. Your tart looks wonderful! I can imagine how delicious it tasted. You've also piqued my interest with the burrata cheese.

  13. Good Morning, sweet friend...

    Ohhh nooo...I am so sorry to hear that you and your family are a bit under the weather...I hate those nasty bugs! Sending lots of prayer your way, Darlin'! Hope ya'll are feeling better today!!!

    Well my dear, you have done it once again! You have offered up for our "viewing enjoyment" a delicious dish! Mmmm...a Rustic Citrus Fig Tart sounds sooo good! I have never tried one before but I do love figs! Hmmm...guess some other creature loves figs as sorry that your fruit was raided!

    I'm so glad that you stopped by for a visit, sweet friend! I always...always enjoy our visits!'re always so sweet to with your compliments, Pattie! Thank you, Darlin'!!! Now...feel better, dear friend!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  14. Oh dear, I'm so sorry to read that pesky deer ate all your figs. I haven't seen any in our farmers market yet, but it shouldn't be long. I love your fig tart, Pattie. What a perfect way to show off my favorite summer fruit.

  15. We love fresh figs... and sardines... and artichokes... and lots of other "weird things" my friends won't touch with a 10 foot pole. So sorry your fig tree had a mishap - blasted creatures!


  16. Yummy! We love figs and eat them with our oatmeal. Thank you for the recipe. :)

  17. I hope you are feeling better. Packing when under the weather is no fun at all. Your tart is lovely, Pattie. I am sorry about the deer. They are voracious creatures and they graze as they please on anything that's in sight. We have a deer problem on our hillside, so I understand how frustrating it can be. I hope you have a good day. Blessings...Mary

  18. This brings back memories of my Sicilian grandmother. She made some of the best fig dishes. I wish I had the presence of mind to learn from her while she was still cooking in her home. (she passed away when I was 13).
    Thanks for sharing not only the recipe, but a little taste of Nonna.

    Jane (artfully graced)

    ps Thanks, too, for the Caramel Nut Cluster recipe with the sweetened condensed milk. So easy!!!

  19. That fig tart is Gorgeous! I'm so jealous you have a fig tree! Sorry about the deer:(
    I bet your friend's guests were very impressed!


    thank you for the bd wishes!!

  20. Figs just happen to be a very favourite delight of mine.
    Your tart looks absolutely scrumptious.
    I'll certainly have to try making this in my kitchen soon ;o)

    When my brother and I were kids...we would spend time in a huge fig tree at my Nonna's in Italy...and pay for it later since we would end up eating way to many figs ;o)

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe and flavourful wishes,

  21. Looks so delicious, but your food always does! Sorry I haven't been by in a while, life keeps getting in the way of my blogging, I've had to cut way back. Anyway, I just had to come over after seeing you featured at Our Krazy Kitchen to ask - why don't you become one of our team members? We'd love to have you! :-)

  22. I'm so sorry to hear the deer damaged your fig tree, Pattie! Our figs are not ripe as yet and I'm afraid they will be ready while we are away on vacation. I'm sure the squirrels will have a party eating them...sigh.

  23. This brings back memories of my Sicilian grandmother. She made some of the best fig dishes. I wish I had the presence of mind to learn from her while she was still cooking in her home. (she passed away when I was 13).
    Thanks for sharing not only the recipe, but a little taste of Nonna.

    Jane (artfully graced)

    ps Thanks, too, for the Caramel Nut Cluster recipe with the sweetened condensed milk. So easy!!!condo listings torontolocation de salle marseille


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