This makes a wow presentation. As good as it looks, it tastes even better. The combination of savory (pesto) and sweet (figs) combine for a magical taste. This recipe makes a large 10-inch torte so it’s great for a big party. Also it’s better if you make it at least 2 days ahead.
You can make your own basil pesto (the recipe is in last month’s post for Savory Goat Cheese Cake with Pesto) or use readymade pesto. If you opt for store-bought pesto, drain off some of the oil so it’s not too wet. Also, while fresh figs are preferred, if they are not available or have no flavor, it’s okay to use dried Calimyrna figs. I’ve made it using fresh and dried. What’s important is that the figs have good flavor. Don’t use hard, dried out figs. Look for moist, delicious figgyness.
When you serve this, cut a small slice and put it on a plate next to the torte. No one likes to take the first slice ever. If you don’t do this, you may have a lot leftover. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing…
FIG PESTO TORTE
EVENT: Apps & Alcohol
SERVES: 16-32 as Appetizer
1 cup finely ground wheat crackers or pretzel crisps (1 cup crumbs total)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, ground fine *
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 1/4 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups homemade basil pesto or prepared basil pesto *
16 large fresh or dried Calimyrna figs, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup fig preserves (available at my Amazon Affiliate Store)
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
10-inch springform pan
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan or butter bottom and line sides with strips of reusable parchment paper (See my Amazon Affiliate Store).
2. In a bowl, mix together all crust ingredients and press into bottom of springform pan.
3. Bake in oven approximately 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine both cream cheese, sour cream, eggs and salt until creamy and smooth.
2. Assemble torte.
3. Pour 1/2 filling into crust.
4. Top with dollops of pesto and use small spatula to spread evenly.
5. Top pesto with sliced figs.
6. Top with remaining filling.
7. Bake on middle rack of oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until top is golden brown and set. Cool on wire rack. Chill torte covered several hours or up to 2 days ahead.
8. Glaze topping.
9. In small sauce pan, combine apple cider vinegar, fig preserves and bring to simmer. Then cool.
10. Spread torte with preserves mixture.
11. Run a knife around edges of pan and remove side.
12. Carefully transfer torte to serving platter.
13. Serve at room temperature.
TIP: Make this 2 days ahead.
* A NOTE: I buy prepared basil pesto and walnuts at Costco.