Using a Pecan Crust for both sweet and savory.

The other day we were invited to a BBQ. Like always I asked what Brian and I could bring. We were told that there would be plenty of fish on the grill to make tacos with, so if we would like to bring a snack or a dessert it was more than welcomed. Dessert! Now you are talking my language. With hardly anything in the house I ran to the market. I had Chocolate Chip Cookies on my mind and thought it would fit with the tacos. I was walking to the checkout with the butter and chocolate chips in my hand as I passed the fruit. Right there I spotted these huge, ripe, luscious looking, local figs. I had to have them. Not only did I have to have them, but I had to scratch my plans of chocolate chip cookies and design a dessert around these figs.

Roasted Fig Tart with a Pecan Crust, along with slightly sweetened Whipped Creme

A roasted fig tart with a pecan crust topped with whipped cream sounded so good it was making my mouth water as I thought of it. When I got home I started in on the pecan crust. That is when I faced a dilemma. The recipe I use for the pecan crust only uses one egg and makes enough for three tart shells. Then I thought of how I can show you here that the same crust can go both ways; sweet as well as savory. So I baked two of the pecan crusts, and wrapped the remaining dough so I could freeze it and bake off at another time.

Formage Fort filled Pecan Crust

With both crusts I par-baked them and then finished them with their fillings. To roast the figs I tossed them with some local honey and vanilla and sprinkled the top with some cinnamon sugar. On serving, I had lightly sweetened whipped cream on the side. The end result was scrumptious, and I'll admit that I had seconds, it was so good. It was equally enjoyed by all. By the end of the night all that was left - a scoop of whipped cream and some tart crumbs. About two days later I pulled the other par-baked pecan crust out of the refrigerator and filled it with a double batch of fromage fort recipe I had written on here a while back. It was delicious, and so savory. I served it along some sautéd green beans and favas topped with basil. To be honest I am not sure what I liked better. The sweet, roasted figs or the savory, gooey fromage fort? I will have to decide and make it again.

Roasted Fig Tart with a Pecan Crust (serves 10 or more)

2 baskets of Figs, trimmed and quartered (I used at least 11 figs in this tart)

¾ cup of honey

2 tbsp of sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

(Recipe for pecan tart shell to follow)

First, line your quartered figs evenly across your par-baked tart shell.

Next, drizzle the honey over your figs. Be sure to evenly coat over the fig quarters.

Then, mix the cinnamon into your sugar. Once combined sprinkle mixture over the top of the figs and the honey.

Finally, place the completed tart back into a preheated 375 degree oven. And bake about 25 minutes, or until you see your figs start to caramelize along with the honey and the cinnamon sugar bubbly. Allow to cool about 20 minutes before removing from its tart pan and serving.

Pecan Tart Crust (enough for three 9 – 10 inch tarts)

10 oz of pecans

1/3 cup of sugar

3 cups of AP flour

8 oz of butter, softened

1 egg

1 tsp of vanilla extract

(*Note: This recipe is enough for 3 nine inch tarts. You really cannot cut this recipe in half because of the one egg. You can, however use what is needed and tightly wrap the rest and freeze until your next use.)

First, place the pecans in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Do not over pulse or you will end up with pine nut butter! Add sugar and flour and pulse until combined. Also, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Next, place your pecan mixture in a bowl and add the butter, egg, and vanilla extract mix until incorporated. Divide dough up into three even parts, wrap tightly and chill at least 10 minutes before using. Meanwhile, butter and flour your tart pans.

Then, take the dough from refrigerator and using your fingertips press out the dough into the tart pan until the pan is covered evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess if it is needed.

Finally, bake crust for 10 minutes and the rotate and bake for another 10 minutes more. At this point your crust should be par-baked. If your re looking to fully bake your crust bake about 30 minutes total…the crust should be golden. Remove from oven and cool until ready to fill and finish.

Fromage Fort filled Pecan Crust (serves 8 – 10)

**See here for Fromage Fort recipe, and double it.

Place the filling into the pecan crust on a sheet pan and place under a low broiler for about 10 minutes. Timing will depend on your oven and how far away your tart is from your broiler.

Keeping an eye on your tart, you are looking for the filling to be all bubbly and golden.

Once filling is golden, remove from oven and let cool about 15 minutes before removing from pan and serving. Enjoy while warm.