Early into our Sydney Food Sister journey, it became very apparent that Caterina and I had the perfect synergy when it came to food. I have no doubt that much of that synergy comes from our similar upbringing, by parents who shared common food philosophies stemming from their Italian and Greek traditions, flavours and food principles, that they themselves had grown up with.
When you mix the flavours of the Mediterranean together, the end result is this beautiful fig tart. Built on a beautifully sweet walnut and honey base, filled with a creamy ricotta cheese and tangy lemon filling, and topped with fresh figs and honey - I think this is Caterina and I in a tart! We had a ball creating this recipe for CSR Sugar, who gave us the creative freedom to develop an Italian-Greek inspired dessert, drawing upon our family heritage.
This tart is a sweet celebration of those Italian and Greek flavors, and cultures, that when brought together create pure magic. It is perfect for the summer months when figs are at their prime. As well as being delicious on the palate, the arrangement of fresh figs on top make this a visually stunning cake, perfect as a Christmas table centerpiece. Hope you love this recipe as much as we do.
FOR THE TART CRUST
1 cup coarsely ground walnuts
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon CSR caster sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons honey
FOR THE TART FILLING & DECORATION
150ml double thick cream
220g CSR caster sugar
Grated rind of 2 lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt
150ml lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5-6 large figs
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a 20cm spring form cake pan with baking paper.
- To make the crust, mix together the walnuts, flour, caster sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the melted butter and honey until combined. Add the butter and honey mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well coated.
- Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the cake pan. Bake for 14 minutes, or until the tart crust begins to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- Increase the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Using an electric mixer with a paddle, beat the ricotta until softened. Add the cream and beat until combined. Gradually add the sugar and beat continuously until smooth, light and fluffy.
- Add the lemon rind and beat to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add the salt, lemon juice and vanilla extract, and beat until smooth and well combined.
- Pour over the tart base and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 170 degrees Celsius and bake for a further 45 minutes, or until the filling is golden and just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Decorate the cake with figs. Cover the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. The cake is best eaten cold, and can be served with honey.