I tend to cringe when I hear a dessert characterized as elegant, as if it was a little black dress on its way to a mannered reception. Too often it's a euphemism for the undersweetened, underwhelming, or downright boring. I understand the appeal of a scoop of something in a crystal coup, but if that something is voluptuous and luscious, or at least damned delicious, I suspect that a description of quiet understatement would be far from the diner's account.
That said, this tart really is an elegant beauty, not too sweet, with figs glimmering like little jewels. And when the yogurt hits the fruit, sorcery occurs as it becomes deluxe, bewitching, a carpet ride to Scheherazade!! You'll forgo decencey, grab a second wedge, lick your plate, and dribble down the front of your little black dress!
Fig and Pistachio Tart with Honied Yogurt adapted from In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley
11" tart shell, partially baked and cooled
pistachio frangipane (recipe follows)
1 tbl honey
1 1/2 lbs ripe figs, stems removed and halved
1-2 tbl sugar
Honied Yogurt (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the honey over low heat and brush it over the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Spread frangipane over the honey and arrange fig halves in concentric circles over the frangipane.
Sprinkle tart with sugar and bake for 50-60 minutes, until frangipane is slightly puffed, golden, and firm to the touch.
Cool to room temp, remove from pan, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with yogurt.
In a bowl, whisk together some plain, organic yogurt (Strauss, if you can get it), your favorite honey, a pinch of salt, and a wee splash of orange blossom water. Keep chilled.
1 c unsalted pistachios, skinned (to remove skins, boil for a minute, plunge in cold water, slip off skins, then dry in 325 degree oven for five minutes or so until dry. Do not allow to brown)
1/3 c sugar
5 tbl unsalted butter, room temp
1 lg egg, room temp
1 egg yolk, room temp
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp kirsch, or to taste
pinch of salt
3 tbl AP flour, sifted
In food processor, grind the pistachios with the sugar until almost a paste. Add butter and grind until smooth. Scrape down the bowl. Add the egg and yolk and pulse until incorporated, then add salt, almond extract, and kirsch. Taste for seasoning, then blend for about 45 seconds. Add half the flour, pulse 3-4 times to blend, then add the rest of the flour, pulsing just until incorporated.