I originally wrote this post in September 2006. While the words still ring true, the recipe has changed for the better. The tart is easily adapted to other fruits, but please take advantage of early figs and the last of the summer raspberries and make it now. If you read this is August, fear not. Some think that Fall raspberries are better than July ones and the figs will still be available.
While I sit and listen to Ernest the puppy sneeze thirteen times in a row (yoghurt up the nose?) I am hearing TH sigh happily as she finishes her piece of fig raspberry tart. My first exposure to such a beast was in June 1992 when I flew to Berkeley after TH's mother died. While I never had the honor of meeting her, that day began a seven year relationship with her father that started with a meal at Chez Panisse and continued on with love of food, bassets hounds, landscape history, France, geography and his daughter to bind us.
I had only heard of Chez Panisse before that day, and that meal upstairs was very good. I can't remember what my main course was, but the dessert was a fig tart with raspberries and lavender honey ice cream was memorable. I have made it for the last fourteen and change years. The recipe is simple and elegant and brings back memories of a more innocent time with a start of a great relationship.
Fig tart with Raspberries (adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts, 1984.)
One lb puff pastry (thawed - I use Delaurenti's and one lb is the right amount). Pepperidge farm will do as well. One sheet.
1 pint fresh figs (mission, but if you have kadota, why not mix it up?)
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 T sugar
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 T milk for egg wash2 T butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 deg. F
Rinse figs, cut off tops, cut into quarters.
Roll or fold out pastry, score the ends and sides and fold over so you have an edge. Brush edges of puff pastry with egg wash. Place figs with cut sides up in rows (overlapping if you can). Brush figs with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Place in oven for 25-30 minutes or until puff pastry starts to brown and figs are softened but still hold their shape. Remove from oven. While still warm, sprinkle raspberries over top of tart. Serve either warm or at room temperature with lavender honey ice cream, vanilla ice cream or on its own.