Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fresh Fig and Lemon Tart [crostata di fichi e limoni]

Fresh Fig and Lemon Tart

Do you have a cookbook that you just love?

Love to look at it...

and to read it...

because it transports you to a world you wish you could live in?

I do.  It's The Renaissance of Italian Cooking by Lorenza de'Medici (a descendant of the famous family).

I rarely ever cook from this book.  That's because every time I pick it up, I get totally sidetracked.

I don't make a list of ingredients I will need from the market, or even get to a point where I choose a dish to make.

I go into a dream-like state, seriously.  

Sometimes it is the recipes, or the pictures of the food, that take me away to that magical, dreamy place.

Other times it is a picture of an Italian landscape, or a dining area I'd love to see in person.

Every time I pick the book up, it is some other page or reason that draws me in.

It relaxes me, just thinking about it.

If you have a book that does this to you, I'd love to hear about it. 

I made this tart a week or so ago.  As soon as I saw these beautiful Black Mission Figs, I knew exactly what I would make with them...  

....a Fresh Fig and Lemon Tart.

Shortbread crust, sliced lemons and sliced figs, with some syrup poured on top.

The lemons were boiled whole, after perforating the skin, then boiling three times for a couple of minutes each, changing the water in between each boil.

Why?  What's this process called?  I have no idea, only guesses.  If you know, please let me know :)

Then the lemons are sliced and put into some water with some sugar and boiled for 10 minutes.  I'm sure I did this part wrong, using too many lemon slices and/or too much water, or both, since my syrup was a bit thin.  That said, after layering the lemons onto the shortbread, with the figs over the top, some of the lemon syrup is poured over the top, and then the tart is baked.
The figs really turned the lemon slices a pretty color, and the rinds provided an interesting texture.  It was a little odd for the first couple of bites, since I don't normally eat lemon rinds, but after a few bites, I found it quite delightful.

The tart in the book had many more figs, but I just used the amount I had on hand.  I thought it was prettier this way too, being able to see the lemon underneath :)

Do you have a favorite kind of tart?  I'd love a suggestion for one to try next.

So far I've only made the two I've posted about on this blog and they both included lemon.  I really need to enjoy some lemonade with the next lemons that come my way :)  So, I'd love some non-lemon suggestions.


  1. Ummml love figs, wish we got them here. I usually wait until I am overseas to treat myself.

  2. Ooooh, this fig lemon tart looks delicious!