Dinner Party Series: Mission Fig Brulee Tartlets W/ an Orange Mascarpone Cream

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I loooove entertaining friends, cooking for them, and (hopefully!) having them enjoy the food, the company and the evening. As the host of two dinner parties within the week, it has been an especially hectic couple of days for me. No complaints though! Dinner party crunch time translates to kitchen time, and kitchen time is my favourite sort of time! Serving 8 people, and having everything come out as fast as possible, preferably hot and well prepared requires lots of coordination and planning ahead. That is why most of my dinner party menus contain a good chunk of things that can be prepared a day ahead to lessen the load during the actual Dinner Party. Ofcourse, if you have a darling sister that is willing to give up gaming for the night to help you out in the kitchen, that would also be a great asset. Thanks Munsch!! Here is one of the two menus I served. Throughout the following weeks, I will be working my way down the menu and blogging on each dish I served! Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

Appetizer

Trio: Mission Fig Brulee Tartlet with an Orange Mascarpone Cream – Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus – Grilled Spiced Mangos

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First Course

Oven Roasted Tenderloin on a Toasted Couscous Salad

Main Course

Pan-Seared Sweet Soy Salmon on a Creamy Mint Pea Puree

Dessert

Madagascar Vanilla Panna Cotta –  Red Wine Poached Pears – Ginger Maple Brandy Snap

Usually, for dinner parties in the colder months, I try to prepare food that is luscious and rich But the same formula can’t be applied to summer parties, where richness just seems overpowering, unnecessary and heavy. The real challenge for summer dinner party menu is that need to prepare food that is light, refreshing and seasonal, while maintaining a certain level of elegance and decadence to make a dinner party special.

For this menu, I decided to go for seasonal fruit in the appetizer: Ataulfo Mangos and Mission Figs. For this post, I will focus on the delicious Mission Fig Tart.

Mission Figs have a short season during late spring/early summer, and a longer one during September, so working with this highly seasonal food requires good timing. What’s more, Mission Figs are almost as big of a diva as Souffles. If you find mission figs in stores, grab them, chug them in the fridge and eat/cook with them within 2-3 days. Mission figs waits for NO ONE! I was thrilled to see these delicious figs in my local grocer a few days before this dinner party, and bought a small basket of them a day before the dinner to make a refreshing fruit tart.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… Fruit tarts as an appetizer? Yep! It works! And it works so wonderfully during the summer months. I like mixing savoury and sweet components in my food, so this Fig Brulee Tart app was simply too hard to resist! Sweet figs seasoned with salt and pepper, with a caramelized top is oh-so-good. The sweet, zesty orange mascarpone cream juxtaposes the savory, ‘pepperiness’ of baby arugula. Take a step further, and add a buttery, crumbly tart base, and voila! A gorgeous summer appetizer is served!

But wait! There’s more! The tart crust and the mascarpone cream can be prepared the night before the party, which means less work and less fuss during the actual party! (And THAT much more easier to add 2 more components in the appetizer dish).

Here you go, another Nommy Noms recipe:

Fig Brulee Tartlets with an Orange Mascarpone Cream

Yield: 12

Ingredients

Orange Mascarpone Cream:

  • 1 1/4 Cup    Mascarpone Cheese
  • 6 Tbsp         Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup          Softened Cream Cheese (can substitute with Mascarpone)
  • 6 Tsp          Granulated Sugar
  • 2                  Zest from Orange
  • 6 Tbsp        Fresh Orange Juice

The fun part:

  1. With a stand mixer, blend the two cheeses together until combined. Add in sugar and blend. Then add in the zest and juice. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to assemble.                      Image

Tart Base:

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Mission Fig Brulee:

  • 6               Ripe Mission Figs ( Halved)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 Cup    White sugar

The Fun Part:

  1. Season figs (cut side only) with salt & pepper.                                                     Image
  2. Place sugar in a shallow bowl, and dip the figs (cut side) into the sugar.
  3. Place figs on a baking tray (uncut side down). Using a creme brulee torch, torch the sugar on top of the figs at an angle, until the sugar bubbles and caramelizes. (Or you can caramelize the figs when it’s placed on the tart before adding the argula). ALTERNATIVELY, you can place the figs on a grill until the cut side becomes golden.   Image

Arugula

  • 1 1/2 Cup   Baby Arugula
  • 1                 Juice of lemon
  • 2 Tbsp        Chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tsp          White sugar
  • Splash         Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Fun Part:

  1. Combine the sugar, lemon juice, chopped basil and olive oil to make a vinaigrette.               Image
  2. Toss the arugula in the vinaigrette.

Assembly:

  1. Spoon the orange mascarpone cream on the cooled tartlets, and top with caramelized mission figs and a few sprigs of arugula! Serve and enjoy!
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10 thoughts on “Dinner Party Series: Mission Fig Brulee Tartlets W/ an Orange Mascarpone Cream

  1. Hello there fellow Torontonian!!! You know what? I have never eaten a single fig in my life. I was watching Masterchef Australia last night and they had a fig pizza and people raved about it, and then BAM another fig recipe here! Now I HAVE TO try it!!! Btw, did you ever check out a PC class? Sign up for a Black Label class….you get goodies at the end. Trust me, it’s worth for for $25!!! Ciao! 🙂

    • I was initiated to the world of figs rather recently as well! Apparently they are super good for you in terms of dietary fiber. And I haven’t had the chance to check out the PC classes yet! But I fully intend on doing so mid-July and will definitely let you know how it went!! There are so many classes to choose from! Thanks for visiting!

      • I think I am gonna have to get my butt to the grocery store and find the fig section….that’s a fruit right? Ick! 🙂 Trust me, sign up for the “Black Label” classes. You will thank me later. 😉 And do consider the Church and Carlton location! 😉

      • Geez… I was trying to look for a loblaws cooking school closer to home. (I live 20 mins away from downtown). Downtown core definitely has much more choices!!!

  2. i could almost cry thinking about how good these mission fig brulee tartlets sound!!! i want everything about them!!! i adore figs. and tarts. and mascarpone + zest! you sure have some lucky friends! i hope they know that. =)

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