Ok, I am willing to accept that summer is technically over and we are officially in the midst of another PSL-fueled fall season. Fine. Don't get me wrong, I find the brilliant colors of the changing leaves and the crisp air just as comforting as a hot cup of tea. But summer is my spirit season, and that will never change. Every fall, I feel that back to school anxiety begin to creep into my psyche despite the fact that I haven't been back to school in 10+ years. Between that and 13 years of dark and dreary Portland winters lasting from November and well into June, I always hesitate to embrace Fall with open wool-sleeved arms.
This year is different, though. Last month we relocated to the land of eternal summer, Santa Barbara, CA. Since we've been here, it's been a nonstop shower of sunshine and optimal temperatures. The pristine beaches are as soft and powdery as powdered sugar and every sunset looks like a 70's painting. I am still in shock that a place like this exists in real life and somehow we're lucky enough to call this idyllic utopia home.
Last week, a neighbor was selling homegrown Black Mission Figs from an honor bar style table in their front yard. After thinking up all kinds of fresh fig recipes, I decided to make a fig tart based on this seasonally transitional fruit. This Fig Mascarpone Tart with Pistachio Black Pepper Crust bridges the gap between hot summer nights and crisp autumn mornings. The light and tangy filling made of creamy mascarpone, Greek yogurt, honey and a touch of vanilla is complimented by a tart crust that gets its complexity from the incorporation of ground pistachio and a subtle punch of black pepper. When topped with freshly sliced figs, crunchy chopped pistachios and a delicate sweet drizzle of honey, this tart brings out the best early fall flavors without completely selling out to pumpkin spice.
Serve this fig tart with a really great bottle of red wine, and you might just forget about summer all together. We enjoyed this Fig Mascarpone Tart with Pistachio Black Pepper Crust with a bottle of Sonoma County Home Run Cuvée from Kale Wines and it was like winning the World Series of dessert and wine pairings. If you're looking to treat yo-self, I highly suggest this combo. Not a bad way to bid summer adieu.Print