Food + Drink

From the Chronicle Kitchen
The Winemaker Cooks

This week’s guest blogger is Christine Hanna, proprietor of Hanna Winery. Hanna owns 600 acres of land in the Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and the Mayacamas Mountains, 250 of which are planted.

Under Christine’s guidance, the winery has evolved into an estate philosophy that blends the viticultural diversity of fruit cultivated in its four vineyard estates in three unique appellations. She’s also an excellent cooking teacher, and now, author of The Winemaker Cooks.

Let us know what you think of this recipe—is it appealing? Seem too hard? What would you change? What do you love about it? Leave a comment and you’ll be eligible to win copy we’ll give away to a random poster next week.

Kadota Fig Tart with Mascarpone Cream

Three fig trees grow in my garden, including a green Kadota variety whose branches I can see from my dining room window. In five years, this tree has grown twice as big as the other two, and its fruit is sweet, luxuriant, and plentiful, yielding one crop in late summer and another one, smaller and sweeter, in the fall.

This tart works with whatever fresh fruit is in season. I love it with summer raspberries, but in the fall, delicate and honeyed Kadota figs are perfect. If you can’t find them, Black Mission figs can be substituted. Accompany the tart with a slightly effervescent Moscato for a festive ending to a harvest lunch.

Pastry Dough
1 1/2 cups/320 g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup/115 g cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
3 tbsp ice water

8 oz/225 g mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup/75 ml sour cream
1 tsp salt
8 Kadota figs, quartered lengthwise
Honey for drizzling

For the pastry: In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add the ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the mixture begins to come together. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

To make the tart shell, remove the dough from refrigerator and allow to soften for a few minutes. Roll into an 11-in/28-cm round. Fit the dough into a 9-in/23-cm fluted tart pan/flan tin with a removable bottom, pressing the dough into the sides of the pan. Run the rolling pin over the top of the pan to trim the dough flush with the rim. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Adjust an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/gas 5. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and prick the pastry all over with a fork. Line the crust with parchment/baking paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake 5 to 10 minutes more, or until just golden. Transfer to a wire rack/cake cooler and let cool completely.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, sour cream, the 1/3 cup/75 ml honey, and the salt. Using a rubber spatula, spread the mascarpone mixture evenly in the crust. Arrange the figs in concentric circles on top of the mascarpone mixture. Drizzle with additional honey. Remove the sides of the pan and cut the tart into wedges to serve.

Serves 6 to 8

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  • Cupboard Love September 23, 2010 at 11:29 am

    This recipe sounds divine, and if I can find fresh figs, I'm making it over the weekend!

    It doesn't sound terribly hard – just labor intensive with the pastry. I don't think I would change a thing. Well, maybe I would use a premade shell. Maybe.


  • @debaoki September 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    it sounds very easy, and a nice way to use fresh figs. i normally hate making pastry crust because over-handling it makes it chewy rather than flakey, but this approach sounds straightforward, and almost (dare i say) foolproof.


  • @PaulMathers September 23, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Excellent! I am thoroughly enticed by this recipe. It doesn't sound too difficult and I intend to attempt to make it as soon as possible.


  • J Fisher LogoMotives September 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Sounds incredible – immediately taken back to fall in an Italian villa with ripe local figs and fresh mascarpone!


  • Rui September 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    My Dad grows figs in his solarium! Looks like I'll have to score some and give this a try!


  • jennifer September 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    looks super appealing to me! anything with figs is a go! the recipe looks doable and delicious!
    thanks for a chance to win!


  • @wirechairs September 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

    @PaulMathers is this week's lucky random winner – congrats! I have a big batch of mission figs at home that I'm going to use for this recipe…
    Thanks to all for reading and posting.


  • jamesmn October 5, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I just bought fresh Kadota Figs from the grocery store & it did taste like it had last time I had it. They were softer before. Do they possibly need to be boiled?


  • fxgeorges October 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    I have made so many runny crime scene pies that I can’t even remember all of them – and yet every single one got eaten! Flops are so subjective – half the time I think something is a total failure because it’s not what I pictured, but my family will still rave over it or it ends up giving me some great new idea. Cooking has definitely taught me to be more flexible and forgiving to myself. Gotta love kitchen therapy.


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