Challenge No. 30 – Fig and Goats Cheese Tart

This dish was suggested by a family friend.  I’ve known Debbie ever since her daughter and I went to primary school and ballet class together.  I’ve never eaten a fig before but I love goats cheese so was quite excited to make (and eat!) this challenge.

I had a quick search online and found this recipe for fig, goats cheese and caramelised onion tarts.  The tarts are made with filo pastry sheets.   Whilst Challenge 52 is all about taking me out of my kitchen comfort zone, I decided to listen to my baking hero Mary Berry for this one.  I remember watching one of her programmes and whilst Mary Berry once made filo pastry as part of her training, she actually encourages home cooks to use shop bought ready made pastry. And who am I to ignore advice from Mary Berry? 🙂

So for this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:-

  • Filo pastry sheets
  • 1 Onion
  • 2tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 55g Goats’ cheese
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 3 Figs Fresh
  • Honey for drizzling

Edited - ingredients

The recipe on the BakingMad website actually used 2tbsp of dark muscovado sugar and no balsamic vinegar.   However, when I went to get my sugar out the cupboard I realised I only had light muscavado sugar.  After a bit of research, I discovered that you can get the same caramelised effect by adding a tbsp of balsamic vinegar to 2tbsp of light muscavado sugar and this is what I did.

I started by preparing my onion.  I cut it in half and then sliced it at thinly as possible.

Edited - onions

I melted two knobs of butter in my frying pan and then added the muscavado sugar and balsamic vinegar.  Once the butter was fully melted, I added the sliced onion and fried them on a medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Edited - onions cooking Edited - onions

Whilst the onion was cooking, I prepared my muffin tin.  I greased each hole with some butter and then made some little baking parchment squares to insert into each one.  I cut the baking parchment into the following shape:-

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 20.51.43

Edited - prepared tin

Practical tip: these little inserts help to remove the cooked tarts without breaking the delicate pastry 🙂

I then melted the remaining butter and started to make the pastry shells.  I took my pastry sheets and decided to cut 12cm squares to line the tin.  The recipe said to cut them into 6cm squares but these looked to small.  I brushed the top of each square with melted butter, doubled it up with another square and pushed the two into a hole in the prepared tin.

Edited - pastry in the tin

I put the pastry cases into the oven on 180 degrees celsius for 5 minutes to brown them slightly. 

Edited - part cooked

With the pasty part cooked, I put a teaspoon of caramelised onion into each one and topped it with some goats cheese.  I then returned the tarts to the oven until the cheese was melted.  This actually took longer than I was expecting, probably around 7 to 10 minutes.

Edited - cheese in the tin

I sliced the figs and topped the cooked tarts with a portion each before drizzling them with a little honey.

Edited - served up

These were delicious.  They weren’t quite as small and dainty as I thought they would be (probably because I used 12cm squares of pastry) but they sure did taste nice.

Coming up next week, Challenge No. 31 – battenberg.

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