Thursday, September 15, 2005


Fig and Blueberry Tart with Rosemary

If at first you don't succeed aren't you supposed to try, try again? Well, in the case of this beauteous tart, I knew I had to make it work, no matter how many times I failed because it was just too perfect a concept to fail. Figs, marscapone and blueberries just cannot go wrong, right? And yet they did. The first time. You can't even imagine how bummed out I was.

You see, late last summer the fab Ms. MgGee was hosting a brunch (as she does. and with such aplomb) at the swank yet cozy Normandie Towers and I thought I would bring this little treat along for the gang to nosh on. The only trouble was, after spending a painstaking morning making it, I took a greedy little bite, made a face and threw the whole confounded concoction into the bin. It was just plain inedible and that was un-ac-cept-able. Pout. The addition of cornmeal to the crust had made it so gritty it really was like biting down on sweetened gravel. I was so sad but determined to make it again someday. Who knew it would take more than a year to get back to it!

Happily, (as you can see) I did make it again. I followed the directions (to a point) and in less than an hour had these resplendent treats ready to devour. What I had done wrong last time, and have realized wasn't wrong so much as not to my taste, was to include too much corn meal, making it unpleasantly crunchy. For this version, (loosely adapted from Bon Apetit mag) I cut it down quite a bit, and instead of a sand tart, I had a uber sophisticated dessert that I will be making again and again. Try it, and enjoy!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
2 tablespoons sugar
small pinch salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
1 cup non-fat lemon yogurt
1 cup mascarpone cheese (8 oz)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 lb fresh figs
1 cup blueberries

Special equipment 8 small fluted tart pans

In a large bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and rosemary and continue to combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until just incorporated. Gently squeeze a small handful: If it doesn't hold together, add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time.

Press the dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of tart pans and trim dough the dough so it is flush with rim. Chill pans until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Bake the tarts in middle of oven until center and edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes (don't worry if bottom of crust cracks), then cool in pan on a rack.

Whisk together yogurt and mascarpone and sugar in a bowl, then spread the cream in the shells. Cut figs lengthwise into slices and arrange decoratively over cream along with the blueberries. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary if you like.

Serve at room temperature.



The whisky liqueur Drambuie was once as much a part of the traditional British after-dinner ritual as coffee and cigars. But sales have slumped as tastes have changed, and now the MacKinnons, who ran the company for more than 250 years, are taking a back seat as new management tries to reinvent the brand. The liqueur once favoured by bank managers and retired colonels is to become a trendy long, mixed drink for a younger clientele, and many of the company's assets are being disposed of in a slimming-down operation. Drambuie's Edinburgh headquarters and London office in St James's are being sold off, along with its corporate art collection, which is expected to fetch £3 million to £3.5 million. -The Gaurdian


Those are stunning! I'm so glad to hear that you came back to the recipe. Speaking of cornmeal, I'm searching for the perfect cornbread to serve alongside chili to a bunch of football-watching men. Any recommendations?
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OH MY GOD! I've seen a lot of good-looking food on blogs today, but this is by the far the most stunning. You're killing me, Rachael!
That looks amazing Rachel! Wow!
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