Posted on 2014.09.07
The Arousing Fig
Figs have long been considered a sexy food. In the bible, Adam and Eve pressed fig leaves to their sex organs to cover them from prying eyes, and some believe that it wasn’t the apple, but the luscious fig that was the fruit of temptation in the Garden of Eden. It’s said that the fig was Cleopatra’s favourite fruit, and the Ancient Greeks thought it was sacred and associated it with love and fertility. The centre of a fig is often compared to the centre of sexual pleasure for a woman – the soft, pink flesh filled with seeds is, at its essence, representative of a woman’s sex organs. And eating a fresh fig in front of a woman while naked has place in legend as an erotic act. With this long history of sexual connection it is no wonder that the fig is considered a powerful aphrodisiac. Packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, it can increase your stamina, which can be very handy for a night of love making.
Try this fig and almond tart recipe by celebrity chef, Giada De Laurentiis, to end aromantic meal and kick-start your libido.
Fig and Almond Tart
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 lemon, zested
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons ice water
3 1/2 ounces almond paste, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey
6 large or 12 small fresh figs, sliced, stems removed or 20 dried figs,
reconstituted *see Cook’s Note
1/4 cup apricot jam
Combine the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, lemon zest, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until blended. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, gradually add the water until moist clumps form. Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and form into a ball.
Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 1 hour.
In a clean food processor bowl, combine remaining sugar, almond paste, mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, and honey. Blend until smooth.
Position an oven rack in the centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a large sheet of parchment paper, roll out the dough into an 11-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a large, heavy baking sheet. Spread the almond filling over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the figs on top of the almond filling. Spoon the jam over the figs. Fold the dough border over the filling to form an 8-inch round, pleating the crust loosely and pinching to seal any cracks in the dough.
Bake the tart until the crust is golden, about 40 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then slide a metal spatula under the crust to free the tart from the parchment. Transfer the tart to a platter and serve.
Cook’s Note: To reconstitute dried figs, simmer in water for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool completely. Strain before using.
Prep time: 10 min. Inactive: 1 hr 10 min. Cook time: 40 min. Yields 6 to 8 servings.