My Great-Aunt Mary Lou made the best fruit tarts. My favorite, of course, was her fig. She was my grandfather’s sister and he would take me to visit her in her home just up the road. It was the same house where they both grew up in with their parents and 10 other siblings. One time when he took me for a visit, Aunt Mary’s kitchen table and counter’s were covered with fresh baked tarts. Pa Pa’s face lit up at the sight of them. He quickly said something in french and then began the beautiful cadence of their conversation. I wished now I were more curious as a child to learn more Cajun french words so I could have understood everything they were saying. Continuing onto the back porch they visited for awhile and before we left she sent us on our way with some fresh tarts.
Last year I tried to make fig tarts. I did not succeed. I think it takes a lot of practice and patience. I haven’t practiced since. So I decided to take a short cut. I took my sugar cookie recipe and added some nutmeg to it to taste like a tart dough. I then formed them into thumbprint cookies and filled the thumbprints with fig preserves and strawberry fig jam after they were baked. It’s not a tart, but this cookie has the taste of one. They are quick, easy and would be fun to make with your children or grandchildren. Here’s the recipe:
Fig Tart Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine dry ingredients together into a medium bowl and set aside. Cream together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla with an electric mixer then slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until it forms into a ball.
Roll dough with hands into balls a little smaller than a walnut.
Place them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and press your thumb into the center almost all the way through. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Take out of the oven and place cookies to cool on racks.
After they cool, spoon fig preserves or strawberry fig jam or whatever your heart desires into the thumbprints and serve. Store them in the refrigerator.
I can see, and that is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made world, not a manmade world. Helen Keller