Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cooking in Paris: Part Tres

The moment of truth.  The moment you all have been waiting for.  And I supposed the moment I've been waiting for and I didn't actually know it! Remember in Part Une, I mentioned that Paule was featured on David Lebovitz' blog for her secret family tart dough recipe? Click here for more info. To say my jaw nearly hit the floor when I watched her combine butter, sugar, oil and water in a glass bowl and then placed the glass bowl in a hot oven for 15 minutes.  Need to read that again? Say what? Double take? This goes against every pastry recipe you've ever read.  I know, pick up your phone, make an emergency call to your sponsor, therapist, mother, boyfriend, girlfriend or anyone who cares. Carefully removing the bowl from the oven, Paule worked quickly to add the flour to the mixture until a ball was formed. Paule added the dough to her tart pan and lined the pan with the dough. She pierced it with a fork and baked it for about 15 minutes.

While the tart crust was in the oven, we made the almond cream and sliced 2 pints of the most beautiful figs you've ever seen. Generously, we spread the almond cream into the tart shell and baked for about 10 minutes, just until the almond cream set.  Then we put the final touch on the tart, the fresh figs and popped it back in the oven for another ten minutes.  

Before slicing into this heavenly tart, we sprinkled the tart with crushed pistachios for a finishing touch.  Presentation is everything.
The texture of the tart's crust was sandy, crumbly and oh so buttery.  The nuttiness of the almond cream complimented the natural sweetness of the figs, it was married together beautifully.  What's beautiful about this recipe is that the figs could easily be replaced with a variety of other fruits.  In the summer, fresh raspberries or blackberries will be fantastic (if you choose fresh fruit, you have to cook the almond cream in the tart for longer). It was so much fun making and even more fun devouring.

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