This elegant dessert recipe comes from Chef Zach Meloy of Pulpit Suppersin Atlanta, Georgia.
Prepare the Tart Shells: Preheat oven to 350°F. Process all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor until dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces, and roll out between 2 sheets of wax paper to 1/8-inch thick. Cut into circles slightly larger than the small tart rings you'll be using. Gently push dough disks into rings, ensuring that dough is pressed into the corners. Line shells with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in preheated oven until crisp and lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove parchment and weights. Reserve tart shells.
Prepare the Smoked Honey Cream: Combine milk, cream, and honey in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high, and whisk in agar powder and salt. Lower heat, and let simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour into a shallow dish, and cool until set. When fully set, break into pieces, and process in a blender until smooth. With blender motor running, feed tube of hand-held smoking gun into feed spout of blender jar. Run 1 cycle of smoker using apple wood chips. Transfer cream mixture to a pastry bag. Set aside.
Prepare the Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream: Whisk together yolks and sugar in a large bowl until thick, pale, and ribbony. Stir in milk and ground pink peppercorns to combine. Pour into a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium-high; cook, stirring constantly, until heated to 175°F. Pour through a strainer into a bowl and place in ice bath to chill as quickly as possible. When cold, pour mixture into a freezer container of an electric ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Keep frozen until ready to serve.
To serve: Dot a tiny bit of the honey cream in the center of 6 plates. Place an empty tart shell on top of each dot of cream. Fill each shell with smoked honey cream. Top each with split figs and a scoop of ice cream. Before serving, drizzle with honey, and garnish with basil.