It’s been awhile since I've said hello. I know. Believe me, I know. I haven’t had a moment to sit my butt down for awhile and write. Days are full and long with no end in site. It's exhausting but wonderful.
We are busy bees fine tuning our Noci Sonoma vision, endlessly organizing, menu planning, recipe testing, cooking for the family, budgeting, meetings, kids, cleaning, mounds of laundry, working the farm stand on the weekends with my husband (so fun!) and on and on. Let’s just say that I am really, really beginning to master the art of multitasking without overwhelming as easily as I always have done.
Many factors have played a part in these lessons, motherhood being top on the list, but I must admit, since our dog Louie unexpectedly died a month back - the new calmness in our house (sans kids of course) has reflected in my mood in quite a surprising and positive way.
Lou. He was a rescue dog that we adopted to be buddies with our other dog, Basil. We honestly adopted him cause they looked so good together. Vain but true.
At first he was quiet and sweet and they got along fabulously, but then his true terrier nature came through and he was high strung, never listened, constantly pissed on every new carpet we bought, wildly barked with each sound, harassed Basil all the time, constantly ran down the street the moment a door was opened, jumped on the couch and bed when we weren’t looking - frankly he was a bit of a shit.
My husband and I always joked that Lou represented the chaotic life we lived before him and I came together. That Lou was kinda of a constant reminder of that drama which we both no longer endeared. And now, the dog drama and chaos in our house gone. Gone. But I miss that little guy terribly.
And so, I honor Lou and Fig season and share this stunning simple tart I made for our very first members only Noci Sonoma farm dinner last weekend. The dinner was a huge delicious fun filled success and this tart - a stand out. This tart is everything you want in a divine dessert. It’s simple, rustic, dramatic, full of personality and kinda sweet. Perfect accompaniment to curl up on the couch at the end of the day to enjoy. Just like Lou.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups + 1 TB spelt flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes, like Maldon
- 3 TB maple sugar or unrefined cane sugar
- 1 TB spelt flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sheep milk or heavy whipping cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 10 Black Mission Figs, ripe, stemmed and halved
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Generously butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan or springform pan.
In a large bowl stir together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir until just combined. Press this dough into the pan to form an even layer along the bottom and up the sides.
Bake the crust until pale golden along the edges and just puffed, about 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
To make the custard:
Whisk together the sugar and flour in a medium bowl then whisk in the sheep milk or cream, egg, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until very smooth.
Place the figs cut-side up into the pastry crust in a pretty pattern. You can’t go wrong in my option with making figs look pretty cause they are gorgeous by design!
Pour the custard into the tart around the figs. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the custard is just set and the top blushes with spots of golden brown. Cool for at least an hour before serving.