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sunny black fig tart with a meyer lemon glaze and armagnac drizzle


 First ripe black figs are sliced and artfully arranged in an unbaked buttery tart shell.  They are brushed with a Meyer lemon glaze, sprinkled with Armagnac and baked in a hot oven for about 45 minutes.  I like to serve slices of fig tart with spoonfuls of crème fraîche, creating a simply luscious dessert for the fig lovers in my life.  I say, the more figs the merrier however the amount of figs and their arrangement is up to you.  Because I find it easier to roll out- my favorite tart dough is made using an egg whisked together with a teaspoon of ice water.  The tart shell doesn't need to be pre-baked and works very well with this quite saucy fig filling.  I also brush a small amount of the lemon glaze on the tart shell bottom before I arrange my fig slices, just to seal it up a bit.  Try to stick with a tablespoon of Armagnac sprinkled over the figs before baking as not to add too much additional liquid.  The abundant hot bubbling fig slices, lemon glaze and armagnac filling will magically reabsorb into the fruit as the tart cools after baking and becomes a perfect jammy consistency before slicing.  Don't forget the crème fraîche topping, although whipped cream would be nice as well.

For the Tart Shell
makes a 9" tart

1&1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 stick unsalted chilled butter, cut in bits
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ice water

Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse several times to combine.  Add the chilled butter bits and pulse about 15 times or until you have a coarse mixture with a very small pebbles of butter.  Whisk the egg with the ice water and pour into the flour mixture, pulse until mixture clumps together.  Turn out the dough and form into a ball, kneading a few times to further distribute butter.  Flatten into a disc shape, wrap in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  The dough can rest on the counter until it softens slightly before rolling.  Roll the dough into a circle large enough to fit into the 9" tart pan with a little extra hanging over the pan's edges.  Trim the dough.  

For the Fig Filling

1 quart ripe black figs, cut into quarters
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon, about 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon Armagnac, for drizzling on top

Whisk together the powdered sugar, water and lemon zest in a small bowl.  Brush a spoonful onto the tart shell.  Arrange the fig slices with the cut sides facing up, in a circle covering the tart shell.  Brush the remaining lemon glaze over the figs and drizzle on the Armagnac.  Bake for 45 minutes, until figs are slightly browned on edges and filling is bubbly hot.  Tart shell will be browned.  Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.  Serve at when cooled with crème fraîche or whipped cream.
Serves 8


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