Sweet, luscious figs and tangy, salty goat cheese have always paired well together. This fig and goat cheese tart combines both flavors as well as lemon and thyme, and they are placed on a yeasted pastry base before being cooked in the oven.
This tart makes a fantastic dessert. You can also serve as a more savory lunch or brunch dish if you leave off the powdered sugar glaze at the end.
The base dough needs to chill overnight before assembling the tart, so make sure to leave plenty of time to make this tart – it’s well worth the wait!
Let's find out how to make this delicious recipe step by step.
Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Stir the ingredients together to combine, then add the eggs and 1/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until well mixed together. Turn the mixer up to medium and knead for 3 minutes (or until all the dough comes together and isn’t sticking to the bowl).
With the mixer running, add a dash of salt and then add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, until the butter has been mixed into the dough. Continue kneading on medium for about 10 minutes. Next, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, (if needed) to make a smooth dough that is not sticky to the touch.
Coat a large glass mixing bowl lightly all round with canola oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it over to coat in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The dough will increase in size, but only by about a quarter – it won’t double in size like other yeast-based doughs.
Preheat oven to 375F/170C fan.
When ready to bake the tart, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature while you prepare the goat cheese topping.
Combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, the orange zest, thyme and about 3/4 of the beaten eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or whisk, beat until smooth. Fold in the almond meal and mix again until smooth.
Cut the dough in half and place on a clean, lightly floured work surface.
Roll the dough into a roughly 6 x 11 inch rectangle. Transfer the rolled dough to a parchment lined baking sheet *.
Spread the goat cheese mixture on each tart, leaving a border of about 2/3 of an inch all round the edges. Brush the remaining egg on the border of the pastry.
Slice the figs, and top each tart with 1/2 the figs, cut side up. Sprinkle all over with granulated sugar, and set the baking sheet in a warm location for about 20 minutes.
When they have sat for around 20 minutes, put the tarts in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, turning the pan half way through cooking.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with toasted almonds, then place the tarts on a rack to cool while preparing the optional icing.
Whisk together the lemon juice and powdered sugar and drizzle on the warm or cooled tart. (add additional lemon juice or sugar to the icing for desired consistency) Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve.
* To make transferring the dough from the worktop to the baking tray easy, wrap it around your rolling pin, and then unroll it on the baking tray. This way, it won’t stretch or break when you move it.