The dumbest thing you can do on a hot day is bake, but a crate of ripe figs and a birthday celebration convinced me otherwise. No regrets — I am conceitedly in love with the masterpiece of my sweaty labor.
For this freeform tart, I began with an easy food processor dough. With the canvas rolled out, I then sprinkled a bed of cinnamon sugar and began placing figs in a startburst pattern starting from the center.
It’s a bit like erecting a tepee at the start — you have to balance three slices to stand up straight, but then it’s easy to lay on concentric circles of slices thereafter. The result: fig tart, fruit art (FART?).
Here it is fully-baked after a liberal dusting of cinnamon sugar and the crust having been folded over and egg-washed. As usual, I had some leaking issues because I rolled the dough greedily thin (I was trying to maximize surface area)! Not to worry, it was still effing delish — lightly sweet and caramelized as only fresh figs can taste. We enjoyed it with a rich, port-like dessert Cab from Big Dog Vineyards.
* 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 12-15 fresh figs (depends on size)
* 10 ounces food processor tart dough
* egg wash
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon. Remove stems from the figs and cut vertically into quarters. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch freeform circle. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar.
Starting in the center, cover dough with overlapping circles of fig, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border on the outside. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
Raise dough border to enclose the sides of the tart, letting it drape gently over the fruit. Press down on the dough at the baking sheet, snugly securing the sides and bottom; be careful not the mash the fruit. Gently pinch the soft pleats that form from the draping. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the figs are softly and lightly caramelized. Cool for 10+ minutes before serving. Serves 6-8.