It is Saturday night. I am home. I am blogging. No I am not old ; I just hurt my back.
I don’t know how I did that but I would bet it happened at the gym. After a week of no exercise and nothing happening, I decided to see the doctor who prescribed me drugs and since I felt fine afterwards I resumed my workout regimen. It was a big NOPE. Back to square one at the doctor again who isn’t giving me drugs anymore but is sending me to a physio. Until then, I have to stay put – no exercise and lots of rest – and it drives me bonkers ! I’m sure it’s a sign from the universe telling me that I am getting old, but I cannot handle this right now. I am in complete denial.
On the bright(-ish) side, that might be the opportunity to work on a few things that have been on my to-do list for the longest time, like setting up a small photo studio for my food photography, sell my road bike (indoor cycling classes are great and I can’t justify the space the bike is taking in my apartment with the one ride I’ve recorded so far in the past 6 months), give this blog a face lift, decorate my apartment, test out the zillion recipes I’ve found on Pinterest, plan for activities for our trip to Tahiti (woohoo!), read the cookbooks I had for Christmas.
I am very excited about those cookbooks. One is “Inside Chefs’ Fridges” and the other is “Fish“. They were on my wish list among a bunch of other food books and I wanted to be surprised (but secretly hoping to get those 2). I’m such a big sucker for surprises, especially when they come in boxes. Unwrapping is exciting ! Every year my sister sends me a birthday box (she lives in Paris, I live in Hong Kong), with surprise items and also things I order online from France. Last year my sister handed me the box in person – which made me the happiest but she didn’t receive my birthday gift in time before her visit and had to mail it to me when she returned home. That took some time, so I ordered a few things for her to send me too and since Christmas was around the corner by then, we thought it would make sense to send everything in one go ; I got my birthday part 2 + Christmas box late February, which I find hilarious because I almost forgot what I was expecting to find. I had ordered 7 jars of jams, from my all-time favorite shop and I was desperately waiting for the box to arrive because our supplies were running low ! (I have to report that The Man aka The Dude aka The Fat Pig empties half of a jar on a single piece of toast. Outrageous !) Then my bestie from France visited last week and brought me 3 more. Now I have 10 jars of jam sitting on my bookshelves (because my ridiculously tiny kitchen can’t take anything anymore). I can now open a shop…
So I could finish the fig jam that I was preciously saving in the fridge and I made this gorgeous tart. It was one of the best tarts I made so far – beautiful and delicious.
For this recipe you need to stack two sheets of puff pastry, to increase the puffiness and buttery-ness and therefore the deliciousness. It is also to prevent the crust from falling apart with the moisture from the tomatoes as they bake. I did not make the puff pastry myself this time but I made my own for another recipe – Raspberry Millefeuille (recipe to be published soon) – and let’s admit it, it was such a pain in the @$s. But the taste, that taste ! Out of this world ! It was worth all the hard work.
I spread fig jam on the puff pastry sheet (like you would spread tomato sauce on pizza dough), arranged the tomatoes – in every shape and every color – that I tossed in balsamic marinade, the figs and in the oven for no more than 30 minutes. The crust should be golden and puffy and I strongly recommend you eat it while it’s warm, garnished with basil leaves, burrata cheese (my precious), cured ham (Bayonne ham because its tastes is so refined just like us the French, but Parma ham works too if you insist 😛 although on a serious note I just prefer Bayonne ham over Parma ham, the flavors are more delicate and subtle). If you have balsamic cream, a drizzle of it will do wonders.
Next time I make this it’ll be with my homemade puff pastry. Yes, for the amount of work that I had provided, I thought it would be smart to make 1kg of it, hehe…
Now, what’s next on my to-do list… kitchen re-arrangement to hide the jams from that kid. And caking of course. Always.
Besoooos amigooos !
- 2 round 11-inch sheets puff pastry
- ⅓ cup fig jam
- 2 figs, halved
- 1½ cup tomatoes (different shapes and sizes, some sliced and some wholes)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 4 slices Bayonne or Parma ham
- 1 big ball burrata or mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
- ½ tablespoon fig balsamic cream
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Stack the two sheets of puff pastry and press gently to make them stick together.
- Spread the fig jam on the puff pastry. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, prepare the marinade by mixing together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss the tomatoes in the marinade then arrange on the puff pastry. Gently place the halved figs.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden and the tomatoes are 'wrinkly'.
- Serve warm with burrata cheese, Bayonne or Parma ham and basil leaves on top and a drizzle of fig balsamic cream.