I'm always up for a challenge (well, usually) so when Urban Vegan mentioned her tART contest I got to thinking of what I could make. I didn't want to go to the store so that limited my options. As luck would have it we have two extremely prolific fig trees so I started there. I found a recipe on epicurious.com that looked like it would be easy to veganize. I also happened to have all the other ingredients I'd need on hand.
I was in the middle of preparations when dh decided to take the dogs for a walk. Since he couldn't persuade one of the girls to go with him I told him I'd go along. So off we went - two people, two very happy dogs and one burner still on. Now, you'd think after the blackened tofu incident I would be a little more cautious. You may be thinking perhaps an assisted living facility might be in order... In any case - the girls were home and had the figs started burning they would have been able to handle it. As it was, we came home to some really deliciously caramelized figs - not burned at all. If the dogs had been up for a longer walk it might have had a less happy ending. I don't know that I'd do it that way again but it worked out this time.
The other thing I realized is that if you are making tART for a contest where photography is a big part of it choosing a recipe where the crust and filling are all shades of BROWN probably isn't the best strategy. As I always say, I am a work in progress.
Caramelized fig tart with pecan crust
12 ounces Calimyrna figs, stemmed, chopped
1 cup water
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel
6 oz pecans, toasted, cooled
heaping 1/2 cup sugar
scant 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Energ-G egg replacer - 1 egg
3 oz. chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until figs are very tender, about 35 minutes. Uncover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and filling is thick, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes (or if you take your dogs for a walk and forget the stove is on...30 minutes).
Transfer filling to processor. Using about 5 on/off turns, process just until mixture holds together. Transfer to small bowl; cool filling. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place round tart pan with removable bottom onto waxed paper. Trace outline of pan bottom on paper; set paper aside. Line pan with heavy-duty foil. Grease foil; dust with almond meal. Combine pecans, sugar, ginger and salt in processor; finely grind nuts. Add egg replacer and process until moist clumps form. Using moistened fingertips, press 3/4 cup dough over bottom and up sides of prepared pan (crust will be thin). Bake crust until puffed and dry looking, about 14 minutes. Transfer pan to rack; press bottom of crust lightly to flatten. Cool crust completely. Maintain over temperature.
Stir 3 ounces chocolate in top double boiler set over simmering water until melted. Spread over bottom of crust. Spoon filling over chocolate.
Press remaining dough over traced circle on waxed paper, filling outline completely. Using paper as aid, turn dough circle over onto tart, aligning carefully; peel off paper. Pinch edge of crust and top dough together to seal.
Bake tart until top is golden and dry looking, about 28 minutes. Cool tart completely in pan on rack. (Can be prepared ahead. Wrap in foil and store 1 day at room temperature or refrigerate up to 5 days.) Push up pan bottom to release tart. Peel off foil from bottom.