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Monday, July 9, 2012

Fig Tartlets with Goat Cheese

I have been rather quiet on the blog the past week or so, because I'm on holiday! Once again I'm in Sydney, and it's been awesome to get away from the humidity and do some seasonal grocery shopping! :] I enjoy grocery shopping and puttering around in the kitchen in Sydney so much so that Jon always asks me if I'm visiting him or his kitchen when I'm here ;p

Winter in Australia is great, because I got to go skiing (=D) and winter produce is ah-mazing! There's tangelos, tamarillos, fennel, figs, chestnuts, and the list just goes on! I also took the opportunity to get myself some Meredith Dairy fresh chèvre, or fresh goat's cheese. I first tasted the cheese in a wine tasting in Hunter Valley, paired with some Semillon wine some time back, but the beautiful smoothness of the cheese has been at the back of my mind ever since. It's an Australian outfit, which has won countless awards for their beautiful goat cheeses, which are bred in their own farms. So when I saw a small pack retailing at a gourmet grocer's, I snatched it up. It was quite costly - a 150g pack put me back A$11, but it's worth it because I just had some on a toasted sourdough bread and I loved it! It's not as pungent as the other goat's cheese, and has a slight acidic sweetness that would go really well with figs!

The pictures are actually my fig tart attempt from the end of last year, when it was fig season in Singapore, and looking at the figs at the market here reminded me of them. I'm definitely going to recreate this some time soon, with my Meredith Dairy's chèvre and Australian figs :] 

Fig Tartlets with Goat Cheese
Inspired by Scandi Foodie's fig tart
Makes 6 3-inch tartlettes 
1 portion of tart crust (you can use a half-portion of my pâte brisée recipe or a full portion of my semolina cream cheese crust for more bite)
4 fresh figs, cut into eighths or sliced as desired
50g goat cheese
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, caramelized or reduced
Almonds or walnuts, crushed

  1. Prepare the tart crust and blind bake the tarts, until golden brown. (As you can see, my tart baking requires some more work - the edges are uneven >.<)
  2. Allow the tart crusts to cool while you prepare the other ingredients. Add four tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and allow it to reduce over a low heat for about 5 minutes. Cut the fresh figs into eighths and toss them in the caramelized/reduced balsamic vinegar before arranging them in the cooled tart crust. You should also pour the vinegar liberally into the tart crust. Scatter some chopped nuts into the tart. Finally, crumble goat's cheese on the tart before serving. Eat immediately. 

Janine's jots: 
  • Other serving ideas: For more savoriness, caramelize some red onions in the balsamic vinegar, and throw in some chives, black pepper and parmesan. You can also throw in some arugula and tomatoes like what I did in my fig salad. You can go for a sweet tart by macerating some strawberries in the balsamic vinegar, then adding the fresh figs and goat's cheese to the pre-baked tart crust. If you are not a fan of balsamic vinegar, swap it for a honey syrup.
  • Taste: I am biased to anything balsamic, so it's of no surprise that I love how the acidity of the vinegar cuts through the sweetness of the tarts and somehow also compliments the slight tang of the goat's cheese. I cannot decide if this tart should be categorized as sweet or savory, because there's just an explosion of both types of flavors when you bite into the tart. 
  • Texture: I loved the different textures in this tart - the tart crust was crisp and buttery, and then there was the 'squishiness' of the figs, the creamy goat cheese, followed by little bits of walnuts and almonds which I had scattered on the tart. 
  • Storage: Once assembled, the tart has to be consumed on the same day, otherwise the crust will turn soggy. If unassembled, the baked tart crust lasts for at least a couple of weeks in an airtight container. Figs then to spoil rather quickly, so consume within a few days. 
  • Would I make this again?: Definitely! Assuming I get my hands on more firm figs over the next few days, I'm looking forward to making a sweet fig tart :]

I'm off to enjoy what's left of my holiday :] Things here will be a little quiet still, because I've a couple of (personal) projects and deadlines due, but I hope to come back real soon because I've exciting news to share! :]


Cuisine Paradise said...

Agreed with you! Doing grocery shopping in Oz is indeed an enjoyable thing to do compared to SG. I love their supermarket or gourmet stalls esp on those fresh fruits n wine plus their cooling winter weather too!

BTW love the Fig Tartlets that you shared! Yummy!

Unknown said...

Oh shucks! I love the fig/goat cheese combination! Shopping in singapore can really be a pain, I always need to run in between different supermarkets/grocers to get ingredients I need!

Amelia said...

Hi Janine, your fig tarts look excellent.

Glad to hear that you enjoy your holiday and shopping. Have a great week ahead.

Food For Tots said...

I have never tasted one before. But, your tartlet looks so tempting! Can't wait to hear your great news! Meanwhile, have a nice holiday!

daphne said...

You very lucky girl!! I love how you picked up these gorgeous ingredients as well. Fig, tart? U got me.

Lisa Ho said...

Beautiful tartlets..
Enjoy your Sydney stay :D

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Janine, Your tartlet is gorgeous!
Enjoy your holidays!

Anonymous said...

wow I really love the way this turned out! Which tart recipe did you end up using? Your crust looks so perfect!

lena said...

haha! so did you go to aust to visit jon or his kitchen?? your pictures of the fig tarts are so gorgeous and extremely sharp!!

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