Have you been watching Rick Stein’s ‘Venice To Istanbul’ TV series? I’m rather hooked, as I’m a big fan of the cuisine he’s lucky enough to be eating, drinking and cooking his way through, having grown up in Cyprus. As I’ve mentioned previously, Cypriot cuisine really does take inspiration from all of the countries surrounding it. I’ve been meaning to buy the cookbook accompanying the series, but when I came across one of the recipes for a Croatian Fig Tart in BBC Good Food Magazine, I had to try it out.
I was cooking it for a dinner party, perhaps a bit risky for a first attempt, but luckily it turned out well and was very yummy indeed! Here’s the recipe:
170g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
100g unsalted butter, cubed
50g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
50ml double cream
500g mascarpone cheese
6 tbsp clear honey
6 large, 7 medium or 8 small fresh figs, stems trimmed, halved
For pastry, mix flour, salt and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in sugar.
Mix egg yolk and cream, and add to the flour mixture so that it comes together to form a dough.
On a floured surface, roll out the pastry and use it to line a 26cm, loose-bottomed flan tin.
Trim the edges of the pastry, cover with cling film and rest it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 360F/180C/Gas 4. Line pastry with baking parchment, fill with baking beans or rice and bake blind for 10 minutes.
Remove paper and beans. Cook for further 3 minutes. Take out of oven. Lower temperature to 320F/160C/Gas 3.
Soften the mascarpone with the honey in a saucepan over a low heat. Pour into the pastry case, then lay the figs on top, cut side up.
Bake for 30 minutes until just starting to turn golden around the edges.
To serve, allow to cool before removing from the tin and cutting. I served ours with greek yoghurt and some more honey.