3medium (5-6" long) fig leaves, snipped into 1" pieces
1 1/2cupsheavy cream
Pate Sucrée: Makes one 8" tart crust
3oz.unsalted butter, at room temperature, (3/4 stick)
1/2cuppowdered sugar, (2 oz.)
1/2egg , (1 oz., or 2 T)
Figs and Custard:
1lb.figs, about 12-15 medium figs (any one variety or a mix)
1/2cupcreme fraiche or heavy cream
1/2egg , (about 1 oz. or 2 tablespoons)
Other possible flavorings: splash of rosewater, orange flower water, vanilla extract, or a dash of cardamom or cinnamon, or a grating of lemon or orange zest
2tablespoonscoarse sugar, for sprinkling over the top
Fig Leaf Ice Cream
Scald the milk with the leaves in a medium saucepan. Cover and let steep 20 minutes.
Have the cream in a bowl or large container with a fine-mesh sieve set over it. Whisk together the yolks, sugar and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Re-scald the milk, and temper into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until it thickens slightly and just begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, 170º. Immediately pour through the sieve and into the cream. Place in the fridge until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours, or up to two days.
Churn in an ice cream maker.
Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and sift in the powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the egg slowly, beating to combine, then the salt and flour, mixing on low until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle, and make sure the dough is homogenous. Scrape out onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll out into an even 10" round. (If the dough is too soft and sticky to work with, refrigerate until firm.)
Fit into an 8" round tart pan with a removable bottom, make the edges pretty. You should know how to do that by now. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375º and position a rack on the lowest position. Line the chilled dough with parchment paper and pie weights, place the tart pan on a baking sheet, and bake until the bottom looks dry when you lift up the parchment, about 15 minutes.
Remove the weights, and bake until the bottom is slightly browned, 5 or 10 minutes more. Remove while you prepare the filling. Patch any holes with leftover dough scraps.
Figs and Custard
Quarter larger figs, or halve smaller ones. Lay figs in the tart shell in concentric circles. Whisk together the remaining filling ingredients and pour around, not over, the figs. Sprinkle the sugar over the top. Return to the oven, and bake until the juices from the figs are bubbling thickly and the custard is puffed and golden in places. The baking time will vary depending on how juicy your figs are - mine took around 45 minutes, but check it after 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
This tart is best served warm, with a quenelle of ice cream alongside, or a drizzle of creme fraiche.
Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings.