Even Figs get the BleusNov 18th, 2011 | By Cecilia | Category: baking and desserts, blog, cook something
Here’s something a little different you might want to try for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year.
I love pies and tarts, nearly any kind, so long as neither is cloyingly sweet. And while I am not much of a baker, I find these preparations among the easiest baked items to not only create, but also to use as a vehicle for experimentation.
As I enjoy the flavor of figs and bleu cheese together, and I love pies and tarts–I thought: why not combine them? In this savory/sweet concoction, you will find balsamic caramelized onions, walnuts, figs and bleu cheese, which I like to bake in a buttermilk crust.
Ingredients for the balsamic reduction
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. garam masala (optional)
- Place balsamic vinegar and sugar into a heavy sauce pan over medium high heat.
- Whisk until sugar dissolves in vinegar; reduce mixture by half.
- Reduce heat to medium-low to low and whisk in cinnamon, vanilla and garam masala.
- Continue cooking until reduced by half again and mixture coats the back of a spoon.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before drizzling over pie filling ingredients.
Ingredients for the onions
- 4 cups yellow or white onions
- 2 tsp. Olive oil
- 1 Tb. Coconut palm sugar
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. garam masala (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or may substitute 1 tsp fresh rosemary
- Cut onions in half from root end to top, peel halves.
- Thinly slice halves into half-moon shaped pieces.
- Heat heavy skillet over high heat, add olive oil; when it shimmers, add onions, and lower heat.
- Once onions soften slightly, add sugar and salt, and continue cooking 10 minutes.
- Add fresh thyme (or rosemary) and garam masala (if you decide to use it) and cook until lightly caramelized, about 20minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before adding to pie.
Additional ingredients for Assembly of Pie
- Your favorite pie dough recipe; this buttermilk crust is my favorite.
- 1 dozen ripe figs cut in half from stem to stern (less or more depending on size)
- 6 ounces gorgonzola
- 6 ounces mascarpone
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (may toast them if desired)
- 2 Tb. Candied orange rinds, or may substitute candied ginger
- Parchment paper or aluminum foil
- Beans or pie weights
All the elements for the pie may be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
To Assemble the Pie
- Pre- heat oven to 350F.
- Roll dough to fit in round 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom, or 8-inch shallow pie plate. If using pie plate allow for an inch or more of dough overlap.
- Place rolled dough into tart pan/ pie plate; quickly and gently maneuver the dough into the pan/plate. If using tart pan, with rolling pin, roll over top of pan to cut away excess dough. If using a pie plate, allow dough to overlap to 1-inch, then tuck under and crimp with fingers or fork.
- Prick bottom of crust with fork, line crust with parchment or aluminum foil, and fill 2/3 full with dry beans or pie weights.
- Place back in freezer for at least 10 minutes.
- Bake with the weights for 20 minutes, remove from oven, and carefully remove weights.
- Allow to cool.
- Spread mascarpone cheese in the bottom of the crust.
- Distribute the onions on top of mascarpone, followed by the fig halves, blue cheese, walnuts candied orange peel, and drizzle all of it with the balsamic reduction. You do not have to use all of it—but you may.
- Return to 350F oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese melts
- Remove and allow to cool to room before digging in.
NOTE: To add yet another element of flavor to this tart, consider crumbling crispy bacon over the top before baking.