Wild huckleberries--tart, earthy, and packed with flavor--marry perfectly with figs--light in density, sweet, crunchy, and mellow. This combination, complemented by a sweet, crisp shell and a crunchy puff pastry lattice, makes a truly special dessert. If fresh huckleberries are not available, you can replace them with frozen ones or use raspberries, blackberries, or wild blueberries (though not cultivated ones) which all work beautifully with the figs. If you do not have time to prepare and weave the lattice top, you can skip this step and the tart will still be delicious.
- 1 recipe Sweet Tart dough
- 7 to 8 ounces puff pastry
- 2 cups (11 ounces) fresh or frozen huckleberries
- 8 large (12 ounces) fresh figs
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
- 11½-inch tart pan, fluted or straight-sided, with a removable bottom
- Baking sheet
Prepare the Sweet Tart crust (see the Note on rolling tart dough):
Make the sweet tart dough and line the tart pan according to the instructions. Do not bake. Transfer the unbaked shell to the freezer to chill for at least 20 minutes while you prepare the filling and roll out the puff pastry lattice.
Prepare the puff pastry lattice:
If you cannot find puff pastry in the store, use leftover scraps from the sweet tart dough. Make a ball out of the dough scraps and chill. Roll out the scrap dough or the fresh puff pastry into a 12 × 9-inch rectangle, 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a wax-paper-lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. Remove the chilled dough and, while still on the tray, cut sixteen ½ × 11-inch strips of dough. Place the tray of dough back in the refrigerator to chill until you are ready to weave the top of the tart.
Prepare the filling:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Position the rack on the bottom shelf of the oven. If you are using frozen huckleberries, defrost by spreading the berries out on paper towels (this will eliminate excess water condensation from the freezer). Cut the hard stems off the tops of the figs and quarter the figs. (If you are using large figs, cut them into 1/8-inch pieces.) combine the sliced figs and the huckleberries in a stainless-steel mixing bowl. Toss the flour and 3 tablespoons of the sugar over the top of the fruit and gently mix with a metal spoon until incorporated.
Remove the tart shell from the freezer. Sprinkle the bread crumbs in an even layer on the bottom of the tart. Place the fruit mixture over the bread crumbs and gently pack down the fruit. Cut the butter up into 8 pieces and evenly disperse over the fruit.
Weave the lattice topping:
Remove the lattice strips from the refrigerator. Place 8 strips, equally spaced, vertically on the tart. Gently fold every other strip back on itself halfway. Lay one strip down horizontally at the fold. Unfold the 4 strips over the horizontal piece; fold back the other 4 strips halfway and lay down another horizontal piece at the fold. Repeat this process two more times to complete one half of the lattice. Rotate the tart 180 degrees and repeat the weaving process on the other half. Carefully trim away any strips that hang over the side of the tart. With a pastry brush, gently coat the lattice with a thin layer of water and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar on top. Transfer to the freezer and chill for 10 minutes before baking.
Bake the tart:
Bake the tart for 50 minutes, rotating the pan once during this period. After 50 minutes, turn down the heat to 350°F and bake until the fruit filling is bubbling, the rim of the crust is dark brown, and the lattice has taken on a nice golden to dark brown color, 15 to 30 minutes. Allow the tart to cool for ½ hour on a wire rack before removing the metal ring.
Serve this tart slightly warm with vanilla ice cream. I particularly recommend accompanying this dessert with the Fig Leaf Ice Cream (see Variations).