nueske’s bacon and seared fresh fig tart

A tart that's deliciously unexpected and perfect for fall.
Ingredients (Serves 6)
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 4 slices Nueske’s or other natural, smoked bacon, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 12 fresh figs, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
Directions
  • To make the crust, slice the butter into thin pieces and add to a medium bowl. Cover with the flour and salt and use your fingers to work the ingredients together until as crumbly as possible.
  • Add the vinegar to the water. Form a well in the middle of the flour mixture, add the water mixture, and use a fork to combine well.
  • Form into a small ball. If sticky, add a little more flour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • To make the tart, preheat the oven to 350° F. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until cooked but not quite crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to paper towels, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet, and return the skillet to the heat.
  • Add the brown sugar and stir well, cooking for 1 minute. Remove from heat and place the figs, cut side down, in the skillet. Return to high heat and cook, shaking to sear the figs, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cut side of the fig is golden and lightly crusted.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and shake the pan to distribute it. Cook until the vinegar evaporates, about 1 minute, and remove the skillet from heat.
  • Place the crust on a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper and roll out to fit a 12-inch tart pan. Fit the pastry in the pan and trim the edges. Place the figs in a circle in the pan. Scatter the bacon bits over the figs and crumble the cheese over the mixture.
  • Combine the egg yolks, cream, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and pour over the entire contents of the tart. Bake until the egg mixture is barely set and the crust is golden, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Cool, remove the outer ring from the tart mold, and allow to sit for half an hour before serving.
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