Look, if I was any sort of responsible food writer, I’d tell you to stay completely away from the oven this summer. Need dessert? There’s ice cream in the freezer (or at least, there should be!). Need it fruity? Macerate strawberries and serve them with cream. I mean, you can even serve peaches! Juicy, drip down your chin, fresh from the field peaches! What could be better?
But, look. There’s a tart. And I promise it’s quick.
Yields: one 10″ tart, serving 8
Why I love this recipe: an olive based, no-fail, press in tart crust bakes up crumbly and sturdy, the perfect base for a refreshing, cheesecake-like labneh mousse filling. Topped with floral figs and drizzled with lemon and cardamom infused honey, this simple-to-assemble tart is cool, cheesecake-like and impressive, a Middle Eastern inspired dessert for a midsummer night’s party.
For the olive oil tart crust:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup mild olive oil
- 2 tablespoons ice water
For the labneh mousse filling:
- 1 cup whipped cream, cold
- 1 1/4 cups labneh, cold
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cardamom figs:
- 10 fresh figs, stems removed and sliced thinly lengthwise
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3-4 cardamom pods, crushed
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup crushed, salted pistachios
- Make the tart dough: preheat the oven to 375F. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt and sugar.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and ice water. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to dampen; do not over work it.
- Transfer the dough to a 10″ tart pan with a removable bottom.
- Use your hands to pat out the dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, pushing it up the sides to meet the edge. It should be about 1/ 8-inch thick all around; trim and discard excess dough.
- Prick the tart dough with a fork and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Then cover it with foil and fill it with pie weights or beans.
- Bake it for 15 minutes. Afterwards, remove the foil and the pie weights and bake it for another 8-10 minutes, until the crust is slightly browned. Let it cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the labneh mousse: in the bowl of stand mixer, with the whip attachment, combine all the ingredients. Whip, on medium-high, until mousse reaches medium peaks and is light and fluffy. Refrigerate until needed.
- When the tart shell is cool, fill the tart: smooth the labneh mousse over the tart, smoothing the top. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until mousse sets.
- While the tart sets: make the cardamom honey. Combine the cardamom, lemon and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let bubble for a minute or two, until the flavors have infused the honey. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.
- To decorate: cover the surface of the tart with circles of overlapping fig slices. Drizzle with the lemon cardamom honey and the crushed, salted pistachios. Serve.