Rated top small hotel by Zagat, and raved about in travel and food magazines, Blackberry Farm finally shares recipes and stories about its rustic-yet-refined cuisine that blends traditional Appalachian cooking with elevated techniques of New Southern chefs.
A member of Relais & Chateaux, Blackberry Farm has won dozens of major awards for food, wine, service, and general excellence from Zagat, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and Southern Living, and is frequently ranked the #1 small hotel in the United States. Proprietor SAM BEALL grew up on Blackberry Farm, which was founded by his parents, Kreis and Sandy Beall. After attending the California Culinary Academy, Sam Beall apprenticed at the French Laundry, the Ritz-Carlton, Cowgirl Creamery, and Chateau Potelle. He oversees the entire farmstead, from its restaurants to its heirloom gardens to its honey house.
One of the most recognized and respected food writers today, MOLLY O'NEILL, long the food columnist for the New York Times, is the author of three cookbooks, including the best-selling New York Cookbook, A Well-Seasoned Appetite, and The Pleasure of Your Company, as well as a memoir, Mostly True: Food, Family and Baseball. She hosted the PBS series Great Food and is the editor of the critically-acclaimed "American Food Writing." Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, she has won the Julia Child/IACP Award for cookbooks and was awarded three James Beard citations for books, journalism and television as well as the society's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Fig Tart serves 8 Fig jam intensifies the fruit flavor in this tart. We make our own jam, but high-quality commercial versions work nicely as well. We like the free-form shape and rustic feel of the tart and have shaped them smaller to make individual tarts and larger to feed a crowd. Whipped cream, slightly sweetened, is a nice addition.
1/2 recipe basic pastry 1/4 cup fig jam 1 pound fresh figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 l arge egg 2 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter a baking sheet and set it aside.
2. Divide the pastry in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 9-inch circle. Place the pastry on the prepared baking sheet; overlapping the two circles a little on one side is okay as the edges will be folded in later. Spread 2 tablespoons of jam evenly over each piece of pastry, leaving a 11/2-inch border. Arrange the figs over the jam. Cover the tarts with plastic wrap and set them aside.
3. In a small saucepan, cook 1⁄3 cup of the sugar over medium-high heat without stirring until it melts and turns amber in color. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the cream and butter, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Brush the tops of the figs with the caramel mixture. Fold the edge of the pastry over the outer edge of the figs, pleating the dough to hold it in place.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg mixture and then sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the figs are just tender. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into generous wedges.
Basic Pastry make s pastry for two 9 -or 10-inch pie shells or one double-crust 9-inch pie
3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons shortening 1 l arge egg 1/2 cup plus 1 to 3 tablespoons ice water 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1. Place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, 1⁄3 cup of the ice water, and the vinegar. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a fork just until the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Excerpted from The Blackberry Farm Cookbook: Four Seasons of Great Food and the Good Life by Sam Beall All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.