Total Calories: 313
1 In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, walnuts, and salt. With a pastry blender or a fork, blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork. Scoop up some of the mixture with your hand and rapidly squeeze it until it holds together. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until it can be formed into a ball. If the mixture seems too dry and crumbly, add a teaspoon or so of cold water. Gather the dough into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour up to overnight.
2 Let the dough soften briefly at room temperature. Place the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll it out to form a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.
3 When the dough is ready, remove the top sheet of plastic wrap. Using the remaining sheet to lift the dough, center the dough in a 9- to 10-inch tart pan, with the plastic-covered side up. Peel off the plastic wrap. Gently press the dough into the base of the pan and along the sides. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan and trim off the overhanging dough. Gently press the dough against the sides of the pan to create a rim higher than the edge of the pan. Refrigerate the pastry shell 30 minutes.
4 Place the rack in the lowest third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Butter a sheet of aluminum foil. Fit the foil buttered-side down against the pastry. Bake the shell on the lowest rack of the oven 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly golden.
5 While the shell is baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Stir in the cream, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
6 Remove the stems of the figs and cut them in half from stem end to blossom end.
7 Remove the tart shell from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Reduce the oven heat to 375°F. Remove the foil. If the pastry has puffed up, flatten it gently with spoon. Arrange the fig halves cut-side up in the shell. Whisk the cream filling again and drizzle it over the figs.
8 Place the tart in the oven and bake 50 minutes or until the cream is set.
9 Cool the tart on a wire rack 10 minutes Remove the pan rim and let cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving. Store covered with a large inverted bowl at room temperature up to 24 hours.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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