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Bourbon Pecan Tart

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Gooey and sticky sweet, pecan pie is the quintessential Southern dessert. Here it is transformed into a buttery tart that requires less sugar than the original but preserves the crisp top layer of nuts. A shot of bourbon is added for good measure.

Bourbon Pecan Tart

For the pastry:

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) chilled unsalted butter

3 Tbs. ice water

For the filling:

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2/3 cup (7 1/2 oz./235 g) molasses

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

2 Tbs. good-quality bourbon

1 1/2 cups (7 oz./220 g) pecan halves

To make the pastry, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse briefly to blend. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and distribute the pieces evenly over the flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the ice water over the surface and pulse 7 more times. The dough will appear rather loose but should hold together when pressed between your fingers. Shape the dough into a disk 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a round 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter and 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Roll the round loosely around the pin, then carefully unroll it over the top of a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom, allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Press the pastry gently into the bottom and sides of the pan, then roll the pin across the top of the pan, trimming off the excess dough.

To make the filling, in a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs, sugar, salt and cinnamon until smooth. Add the molasses, butter and bourbon and beat until thoroughly combined. Stir in the pecans. Pour the filling into the prepared tart shell.

Bake until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, let cool for 10 minutes then remove the pan sides and let cool completely. Carefully slide the tart pan bottom onto a serving plate.

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Fig Tart with Mascarpone and Pistachios

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Your guests will never guess how easy it is to prepare this gorgeous tart, which makes a dramatic dessert during fresh figs’ fleeting season. Use plump figs that are tender but not too soft, and use them as soon as possible after purchasing them.

 

Fig Tart with Mascarpone and Pistachios

1 rolled-out round basic tart dough

1 lb. (500 g) mascarpone cheese

3 Tbs. honey

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

16 fresh figs, halved lengthwise

2 Tbs. coarsely chopped toasted pistachios

 

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

Fold the dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan. Unfold and ease the round into the pan without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough by gently running a rolling pin across the top of the pan.

Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake until the tart shell is light golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

In a bowl, stir together the mascarpone, honey and lemon juice until thoroughly combined. Spread the mascarpone mixture evenly in the cooled tart shell. Arrange the fig halves evenly on top and sprinkle with the pistachios. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.

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Modern Recipes to Ring in Bastille Day

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Happy Bastille Day! From a beef tartare on a salt plank to a kale-studded Niçoise salad, we’ve gathered our favorite French recipes with a modern twist. Make one or all of these recipes and toast to La Fête Nationale.

Blackberry Kir
Kir, the classic French aperitif, is made by adding a splash of cassis to a glass of chilled dry white wine. Here, blackberry liqueur lends a fresh twist.
Beef Tartare
There’s arguably no first course that the French love more than steak tartare. In this recipe, a Himalayan salt plank naturally seasons finely-diced strip steak.
Warm Black Olives
In our opinion, olives aren’t served warm nearly enough. Heat fleshy black olives with pieces of air-cured ham, sage, bay leaves, and bird’s eye chilies for a satisfying take on the classic appetizer.
Socca with Burrata, Greens, and Olive Dressing
Socca, a naturally gluten-free flatbread native to the South of France, is made with chickpea flour and traditionally eaten plain. Here, it’s reinterpreted with creamy bur rata, a Kalamata olive dressing, and arugula.
Grilled Artichokes with Meyer Lemon Aioli
Baby artichokes are so tender, they can be trimmed, grilled, and eaten whole with dipping sauce. Here, Meyer lemons add a sweet, bergamot-like tang to traditional lemon aioli.
Warm Kale and Tuna Niçoise
Take the traditional Niçoise up a notch by replacing oil-packed tuna with seared sushi-grade ahi tuna, and tossing lightly wilted kale into the mix.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Warm Lentil Salad
Duck legs that have been confited, or sautéed in their own fat, are a classic French pairing with braised lentils, but bacon-wrapped chicken breasts come together faster without sacrificing any flavor.
Grilled Ratatouille
France’s most famous ragout is traditionally long-simmered on the stove, but grilling these summer vegetables gives them a pleasantly smoky finish.