Fresh Fig Tart

Man oh man oh brother has it been hot around here; hot water coming out of both taps kind of hot; hot that makes 30 degrees feel cool kind of hot.  Hot.  Stinking Boland hot.  Truly lovely in that drain-the-energy-right-out-of-you kind of way.  It’s safe to say then that when we woke up today to a cool breeze and the smell of rain on the fresh morning air we were all terribly relieved.

All of us that is, except for my dearest friend, La Vie en Rose; literal translation Life in Pink. You see today is party day for La Vie en Rose’s little miss.  In her characteristically optimistic style, despite the weather, the party has yet to be moved and come late afternoon a group of little girls are all set to be a-picnicking on Paarl Mountain.  I love a mom that lets a child have the exact party she wants, even if it means whipping up a two tier butterfly extravaganza of a cake or taking the rest of us up a mountain on a potentially drizzly afternoon.

It is so inspiring to live life alongside women just like this who make me want to be a better mom, a better friend, a better wife.  When we moved to the Cape so many years ago I prayed for friends, beautiful friends, quality friends, like – minded friends and La Vie en Rose was one of the first that was added to me.  I know that without a doubt, certainly as far as my peeps are concerned, I am one super blessed gal.

La Vie en Rose is determined and strong and organized and she can be the sore tummy kind of funny.  This lady has one enormous empathetic heart, in which there is always room for one more.  This heart will love you, laugh with you, celebrate with you and literally cry with you (and boy have I given her cause to do that lately.)  This Lady has a deeply good and loyal heart and I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I am able to call this particular heart friend.

La Vie En Rose, I adore you, for all these reasons, but mainly for making forty look so darn fabulous!

Speaking of fabulous, the absolute last recipe of Sam’s Ode to figs is this Fresh Fig Tart.  Seriously, when last did you see something so pretty?  I have already admitted that I do not make pastry unless absolutely necessary, so feel free to skip the pasty making for some store bought short crust pastry.  Follow the instructions given for defrosting and then start this recipe at the line which reads “Roll out the pastry…”

For mum and anyone else who can’t find fresh figs in your ‘hood, replace the figs with a mixture of fresh summer berries.  Your tart will look equally amazing.  Promise.


What you need
380 g flour
50 ml sugar
150 g butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
30 ml lemon juice
50 ml cold water
Crème Patisserie
500 ml milk
1 vanilla pod, sliced in half (or 1 tsp. vanilla essence)
35 g flour
35 g corn flour
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
150 g sugar
125 ml cream
To serve
250 g Fresh figs, washed, stem removed, sliced
50 ml honey, lightly heated
  1. To make the pastry combine the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the butter and using the k-beater attachment of your mixer or processor run the butter through the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Beat together the egg yolks, lemon juice and water and add to the flour mixture.
  4. Process until the pastry comes together.
  5. Knead lightly on a floured surface.
  6. Roll out the pastry to fit your tart dish, taking effort to ensure that the pastry is as thin as possible.
  7. Line the tart dish and neaten off the edges.  Prick the pastry with a fork.
  8. Place the pastry in the refrigerator overnight.
  9. The following day line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.
  11. Allow to cool and remove the beans.
  12. To make the crème patisserie place the milk in a saucepan, scrape in the vanilla seeds and drop in the vanilla pod.  Heat to just boiling.
  13. In a bowl place the flour, corn flour, eggs and egg yolks and whisk well.
  14. Pour the hot milk over the egg mixture and whisk to mix into custard.
  15. Strain the custard back into the pot and whisk continuously over a medium heat until thickened.
  16. Cook for a few minutes more before whisking in the cream.
  17. Allow to cool.
  18. Fill the cooked pastry tart with crème patisserie.
  19. Arrange the figs on top and dust liberally with icing sugar.
  20. Just before serving drizzle with the melted honey.

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