A Tuscan classic, chestnut honey or miele di castagno has an unusually potent, savory flavor that gives this fall fruit tart a spicy kick. The bay leaves and rosemary sprigs on top perfume the tart beautifully (they are not meant to be eaten). A man of few superstitions, Peter Pastan always uses 11 bay leaves and 13 rosemary sprigs because odd numbers are lucky.More Ideas for Figs "

October 2008


Credit: © Victoria Pearson

Recipe Summary

4 hrs
40 mins
Makes One 12-inch Tart




Make the Tart
  • In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar, salt and lemon zest and pulse to blend. Add the butter and cream and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and pulse until it starts to come together. Scrape the dough out onto a work surface and knead gently a few times. Pat the dough into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 1 hour.

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 14-inch round about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the round to a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, gently pressing it on the bottom and up the side without stretching. Trim off any excess dough and patch any cracks with the scraps. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the tart shell is set. Carefully remove the foil and weights and bake the shell until golden brown all over, about 25 minutes longer. Transfer to to a rack and let cool.

  • Preheat the oven to 425°. Arrange the figs standing up in concentric circles in the tart shell; dot with the raspberries. Sprinkle with the sugar and drizzle with the honey. Insert the bay leaves. Scatter the rosemary on top and bake for 30 minutes, until the fruits have begun to release their juices. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges and topped with Sweet Red Wine Ice Cream.

Suggested Pairing

Peter Pastan's favorite dessert wine—and a great accompaniment to this tart—is vin santo. It's made in Tuscany from grapes that are hung from the winery's rafters for months to dry, concentrating their sugars. When possible, Pastan opts for the date-scented Avignonesi Occhio di Pernice, which is both rare and very, very expensive; an easier (and more affordable) choice is vin santo from Volpaia.