Boozy Fig & Muscadine Tartlets

Recipe Development and Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns/Photography by Matt Armendariz

A spicy gingersnap crust, a bourbon-spiked custard filling, and a sweet fig and muscadine topping make these tartlets a medley of fall flavors.

Boozy Fig & Muscadine Tartlets
Serves: 8
  • 30 gingersnap cookies (214 grams)*, broken into pieces
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1⅛ teaspoons (3 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ cup (31 grams) cake flour
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups (360 grams) whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks (74 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) cold unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (57 grams) finely diced muscadines or grapes
  • 3 tablespoons (61 grams) fig preserves
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2½ cups (275 grams) assorted fig wedges
  • Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C).
  2. In the work bowl of a food processor, process gingersnaps until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter and ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt; process until well combined. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of 8 (4-inch) removable-bottom tart pans. Place on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely.
  4. In a small saucepan, whisk together flour, sugar, and ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt. Whisk in milk, egg yolks, and bourbon. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in cold butter and vanilla until butter is melted. Transfer to a bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of warm custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss together muscadines, fig preserves, lemon juice, rosemary, and remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt until well combined. Fold in figs.
  6. Spoon custard into prepared tart shells, and top with muscadine-fig mixture. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Garnish with rosemary, if desired.
MAKE AHEAD: This dessert is easily prepped up to 2 days in advance of assembly. Store cooled crusts in an airtight container, and whisk up the boozy pastry cream up to 2 days ahead. Just be sure to chill it with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding.
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