Quite frequently my husband and I discuss foods that we would not have eaten as kids. Some of this can be attributed to a lack of exposure. However, there are quite a few foods that we just didn’t have the common sense to like as kids. Figs fall into that category for me. In my defense, my only exposure to figs, as a child, was in Fig Newtons. They still would be very low on my list of store-bought cookies to eat.
Eating as an adult
Like so many foods, preparation affects our feelings toward them. I honestly don’t remember the first time I tried figs as an adult and liked them, but I do know that once I tried a fresh fig, I was amazed. Seeing that they were delicious, I decided to give their dried version a try again. Perhaps if they weren’t encased in a dry cookie pastry, I would enjoy them more.
While I have a better appreciation for dried figs now, I also love incorporating them into other dishes. Dried figs do well when they are poached in wine or another flavorful liquor. Pairing them with cheese is also a great option.
Next up, fig jam
I imagine if someone had offered toast with fig jam to 5 year old Michele, I would have not been thrilled. However, once my appreciation for figs grew, it was only natural that I would branch out to even more fig items. Over a dozen years ago, I made my own version of fig jam. This is a thick jam, which was perfect as a filling in a panini. Although it is delicious in its own right, it is not quite the ingredient needed for these tarts.
Searching the aisle at the grocery store, I found Bonne Maman Fig Preserves, which were the right choice. Just a bit more viscous and slightly silkier, it would blend well with the goat cheese.
This week’s recipe
These individual tarts are full of so many different textures and flavors that someone could easily eat quite a few. You have a creamy layer of cheese and fig topped with crispy bacon, which is encased in a crunchy shell. Plus, there are sweet, salty and savory notes in every bite. What more could you want?
I do have a couple notes on ingredients. When I shopped for ingredients, my regular grocery store did not have phyllo tart shells. Thankfully, the next store I tried did. Don’t give up in your search! Also, although I used Bonne Maman for the fig preserves, you are welcome to use whatever brand you prefer.
Finally, this recipe recipe really only takes about 30 minutes to make. The extra hour is the time required for the goat cheese to soften.
Now with all these notes and tips, let’s get cooking!
Fig and Cheese Tarts Smothered with Bacon
- 5 strips bacon
- 15 phyllo cups
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 4-1/2 tablespoons fig preserves
An hour before cooking, place goat cheese on counter to soften.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
Add bacon, cooking until crispy. (About 5 minutes)
Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate
Place unfilled phyllo cups in a mini muffin pan or on a baking sheet, and bake for 2 minutes.
While they bake, combine goat cheese and fig preserves in a small bowl, stirring until well distributed.
Remove cups from oven.
Divide cheese mixture evenly among the cups.
Return the cups to the oven, and bake for 5 minutes.
While cups bake, dice bacon.
Remove tarts from oven, and top with bacon.