fig and orange tart à la christine ferber

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in another life, i’d be christine ferber living in the enchanted alsatian village of niedermorschwir.  i’d wake up, smell the crisp alsatian air, waddle out into the alsatian market place, and be instantly inspired to make an alsatian tart.  new combinations of fruits and nuts, herbs and cheeses would spring alive around me in vivid colours.   i’d have published countless tart recipes in infinite variations. i’d be giving birth to new flavour profiles with the fecundity of the duggar family.  making tarts would be in my blood, my dna, and my soul.  i’d be snow white and her more than seven tarts…and my best friend would be none other than pierre herme.

living out in tribeca, i’ve got the greenmarket on greenwich street to look forward to every wednesday and saturday, the itinerant fruit stand on the corner of greenwich and chambers, whatever produce whole foods decides to stock for a particular week, plus my personal indoor garden. while my fig tree has sprouted about 20 still-green figs, i decided to spare my babies and buy a pint of figs from the fruit stand this morning.  they were cheap, in season, and perfect for russeling up my version of ms. ferber’s fig and orange tart.   (note: hers utilizes creme fraiche, semi-puff pastry, and walnuts — i don’t live in the enchanted village of niedermorschwir, okay?!)

Tribeca Fig and Orange Tart
(makes 1 nine-inch tart; my tart is a cross between ferber’s old bachelor’s tart and her fig and orange tart with walnuts from her book Mes Tartes)

Pastry Dough enough to make 1 nine-inch tart. i used pâte sucrée. in ferber’s original recipe, she suggests a rich flaky pastry with praline
paste and hazelnuts.
Almond Cream 200g. i used the recipe from the french pear tart
Fresh Figs 6
Fresh Oranges 1-2
Sugar ¼ cup
  1. Roll-out the pastry dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick and lift it onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cut a 9.5 to 10 inch circle in the center of the dough.
  2. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out enough hearts using the left over scraps to completely line the edge of the circle.
  3. Moisten the the edge of the circle with cold water and gently press the hearts onto the circle.  If your dough has gotten too warm, it may be easiest to freeze the roll-out dough for five minutes before transferring the hearts onto the circle.
  4. While you are heating the oven to 350ºF, let the pastry shell rest in the freezer.
  5. Blind bake the shell for 10 minutes and then let it cool.
  6. When the shell has cooled, spread an even layer of almond creme on the bottom of the tart.
  7. Clean and dry the figs.  Remove the stems and cut the figs into quarters.
  8. Peel the oranges and remove the white membrane.  You want the orange sections without the membrane.
  9. Place the fig quarters and orange creme on top of the almond creme in an alternating patter.
  10. When the tart has been completely covered with fruit, sprinkle it with the sugar. I also sprinkled on some sliced almonds because I couldn’t resist. I also had some extra hearts, so I stuck those into the tart as well.
  11. Bake the tart at 350ºF for about 40-45 minutes.
  12. You can coat the oranges with some apricot glaze (optional). The figs don’t need it as they produce their own glaze.
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