neighbor’s bounty, once again ::::
We are lucky to have friends who have fruit trees in their yards, of all sorts. There are apricots and peaches, lemons and apples, persimmons and Indian dates. Now we have found our fig supplier.
Our friends W and E from church and who live down the street have a lovely lemon tree and two Black Mission fig trees in full fruiting. A canopy of large, fragrant lemons welcomed me into their backyard last week (a post on some fresh lemon syrup on those lemons coming soon). Walking around to the back, the fig trees stood waving with their hand-like leaves, ready for us to pick. Our hosts graciously offered the fruit for the taking. I didn’t think twice about loading up a bag, or two. One guest and I picked a few figs using a step ladder, but she soon found that scaling the trunk gave her the best advantage to grab the higher canopied figs. She picked about 10 pounds of figs in minutes.
I hoped that this excitement from the adults would pique the children’s interest, but no, the toys in the house won out. Peach and Grub were not fans of eating the figs either, stating that they were too “mushy.” I used the flower slant with Peach, explaining that the bright pink inside of the fruit (technically not a fruit but a scion — not my selling point to a five year old) is actually where many flowers inhabit, blooming internally, like some beautiful introvert. She just shrugged and moved on to the cucumber salad and egg rolls.
Despite their apathy, the cooking bug bit me when I experienced the overabundance of these fig trees. My head spun with what I could make. As we sat and gorged on figs, another friend used his smart phone to find fresh fig recipes. I just stuffed my face, ending up with a sore tongue. It was that night at home that I found a fig recipe, equally satisfying got dessert or breakfast.
If wanting to make this for dessert, I direct you to the filling in my honeyed goat cheese tart with a pistachio crust. The filling for that tart is sweeter and pairs wonderfully with the addition of some sweet, tangy figs. The amount of the goat cheese filling may overfill this sesame crust a bit, however, so you may need to cut down the recipe, or find another use for the remaining filling (like eating it shamelessly from the mixing bowl).
One year ago: smashed potatoes
Two years ago: fruit leather
- TART SHELL: 1¾ cups sesame seeds
- ¾ cup flour
- ¼ cup sugar (or less, if you desire)
- 6 tablespoons butter, chilled
- 1 egg
- pinch salt
- FILLING: 2 cups Greek yogurt (the whole fat is excellent here; 2% is okay)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 10 to 12 ripe Mission figs, cut into ¼-inch slices (lengthwise or crosswise, whatever works)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pulse sesame seeds with flour in food processor until somewhat fine consistency. Put in remaining ingredients and pulse until the dough resembles corn meal.
- Spoon the dough into a 9-inch springform or tart shell pan, pressing down with a bottom of a glass to make a smooth, uniform crust. Press up edges to about a 2 to 3 cm height.
- Bake the tart shell for 25 to 30 minutes or until the shell turns golden brown.
- Allow the shell to cool completely before filling or removing from tart pan.
- TO FILL: Mix honey, vanilla, and lemon zest into Greek yogurt.
- Spoon the yogurt into cooled tart shell.
- Gently place the sliced figs over the yogurt. I did a mosaic pattern as I ate most of my fresh figs before I could get started on the tart. If you have an excess of fresh figs, an overlap/petal pattern is nice.
- Drizzle the sliced figs with additional honey, if desired.
- The first day, this tart has a crunchy crust, softening overnight. Keep refrigerated; it will last 2-3 days.