Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Easy Fig Tarts & News!

fig tarts

Getting my hands on fresh figs during any time of year, is like hitting the jackpot. On Sunday evening, my sister, dad, and I were walking past an Arab grocery store, when something caught my eye- figs. I stopped in the middle of the busy street, turned around, and shuffled back. Large sized punnets of fresh figs were on sale for $1.29, “I need to get a few baskets of these!” I felt like I was committing a crime for buying figs for so cheap.

fig tarts

I pulled each transparent-sea green package haphazardly filled with fresh figs out of the chalk-toned wooden crate, and inspected each package. Nearly every container of the figs were squidged from being thrown into the baskets; some had already gone moldy from the heat, but there they were- two baskets of perfectly ripe, dark teardrop-shaped figs, free of any imperfections. I carefully handed the baskets- treating them as if they were rare objects- to the mustachioed clerk behind the counter; he smiled as he bagged the fruit, and said, “I see you found good one’s. The baskets have been out there all day, I’m surprised any survived from the heat.” I was too.

I had two plans for these deep blackish-purple beauties- to eat them as is, and to bake the rest into-the first thought that came to my mind- fig tarts.

fig tarts

Sunday morning, I rushed home with my two baskets of figs hoping that their overnight stay in the refrigerator slowed them down from spoiling too soon. Once I got home, I ripped open the plastic wrap from the tops of the green baskets. The redolent smell of the fresh figs whirled in the air. My mind danced, and I grinned. I was truly in paradise. These were perfectly ripened. I removed them from the basket, put them on a platter, and let them hang-out in the refrigerator, until I needed them.

My mind was stuck on wanting to make fig tarts, so, I grabbed the butter out of the refrigerator, scooped the flour out of its glass container, and got to making a batch of quick puff pastry.

I know that some of you are rolling your eyes about making your own puff pastry, but trust me- it’s not as difficult as you’d think it is; I’ve not bought puff pastry in over a year because for me, it’s faster to make the stuff, than to travel to pick up a package of low-quality factory made pastry. The homemade kind puffs up more than the grocery store variety (and tastes better, too).

fig tarts

At the end of my mini-project, not one surface in our kitchen was left untouched by my floury hands. Every surface was dusted with flour, and eventually, half of the recipe was rolled out into a ⅛-inch thick rectangle, and then cut into quarters. After that, the quartered pastry was placed on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and the pan was slid into the freezer for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, four figs were snagged from the platter in the refrigerator and cross-cut, revealing their amaranth-colored flesh. The pastry was removed from the freezer; and each was dusted with the grainy vanilla scented sugar. I couldn’t help myself- I picked the jar up to my face and took in the glorious smell of the sugar; “Mmm.” A quartered fig, thoughtfully arranged in the center of each pastry, followed. After that, there was a light sprinkling of light muscovado sugar (you can buy some here) atop each piece of fig.

fig tarts

fig tarts

fig tarts

I slid the pan into the preheated oven, and 15 minutes later they were done. The fruit sat atop golden pillows of flaky, buttery pastry with very few small alterations to enhance their dulcet peachy-strawberry flavor. It was perfect, but there was something missing.

I pulled the container of cream out of the refrigerator and a spoonful of confectioner’s sugar out of its metal canister, and whisked like mad until the cream was thick and billowy. A quick taste. “Perfect,” I unconvincingly said to myself. I grabbed a small handful of pistachios pieces from a bag hidden in the cupboard, and tossed them into the whipped cream. A soft pearl white cloud of cream was now speckled with green. I dolloped a small amount of the cream next to a warm fig tart, and called it a day, and boy, was it a lovely one. I felt like I was dreaming.

fig tarts

Speaking of dreaming– the title does state that this post isn’t only dedicated to these easy fig tarts. I’m happy to share that  the About page and FAQ pages have been updated and I’ve been featured in an article on the Gourmet Live app for the iPad! It’s called, “Growing Up Gourmands.” The article does require you to have an iPad and and the Gourmet Live app.

But, fret not, my dear friends, I’ll give you a run-down- The article talks a bit about me, and contains some very exciting news, which I’ve been trying my hardest not to spoil, but as my dear friends, you deserve to know.

fig tarts

I’ve been approached by a major publishing company, and I’m developing a book proposal that I hope to sell shortly. I can’t believe I just said that.

I feel like I’m in a dream. I can’t say more than this, but I will say that I feel blessed, excited, and honored to be working on such a project. My heart and soul are being poured into this, and I only hope that as this project progresses, you’ll be around to see how much love is poured into everything I’m working on.

I don’t say this enough, but thanks so much for reading, and thank you for all of the support, feedback, emails, comments- everything- you’ve shared with me over these past two years. It really means a lot to me; I am truly blessed to be part of such a great community.

Now, with the mushy bit aside- get your hands on some figs, and go make these tarts. I insist. :)

Easy Fig Tarts and Pistachio Whipped Cream
Makes 4 tarts

This recipe is fairly straight forward- puff pastry, vanilla sugar, light muscovado sugar (can use light brown sugar), and figs-no measuring whatsoever (well, unless you’re planning on making this quick puff pastry for this recipe, like I did).

If you don’t have any vanilla sugar on hand, I wouldn’t fret, simply use natural cane / granulated sugar, the tarts will taste just as great.

The pistachio whipped cream that I served with this is fairly straight forward, as well- it’s just sweetened whipped cream with a small handful of crushed pistachio nuts folded in.

For the Tarts
½ recipe for quick puff pastry or 1 sheet store-bought puff pastry (pref. all-butter)
Vanilla Sugar (can simply use granulated/ natural cane, if you don’t have any)
4 ripe figs, quartered
Light Muscovado Sugar (can use light brown sugar)

For the Pistachio Whipped Cream
½ cup cold whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1 ½ tablespoons crushed pistachio nuts

Preheat oven to 400F / 200C/ Gas Mark 6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Roll the pastry into a rectangle approx. 15-by-8-inches (should be 1/8-inch thick). Cut the pastry into 4 evenly-sized rectangles, then place onto the lined cookie sheet.

Evenly sprinkle the top of each pastry rectangle with the vanilla sugar, and top with figs.

Lightly sprinkle brown sugar over the figs.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool while you make the whipped cream (next step).

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, with a whisk, beat together the cream and sugar until thickened and holds a soft peak (to determine this, lift the whisk from the cream; if the peak at the end of the whisk holds a droopy curve, it’s a soft peak). Serve with tarts.


Pistachio Polvorones (Spanish Shortbread)
Roasted Tomato and Thyme Soup

Font Size: a A | print recipe Print Recipe | 89 Comments


  • Kiran @
    September 15th, 2011

    YAY!! Congrats on the book deal and feature.. So cool :) That fig tart looks scrumptious :)

  • Joy
    September 15th, 2011

    O M G. Kamran! That’s so very exciting! :D I’m crossing my fingers for you.

  • Joy
    September 15th, 2011

    And oops, two more things: yummy tart (love figs) and I can’t wait to see your feature on the app once I remember to grab my iPad from home. :)

  • Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)
    September 15th, 2011

    That tart looks amazing, Kamran. And congratulations about the book, it’s high time, in my opinion :)

  • Tokyo Terrace
    September 15th, 2011

    Wow! HUGE news! Congratulations, Kam! I’m so happy for you!

  • Sasha @ The Procrastobaker
    September 15th, 2011

    Congratulations and what a beautiful post! A great go to recipe also and that puff pastry looks just wonderful :)

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food
    September 15th, 2011


    If anyone deserves to have a book published, it’s you. So so happy for you, my friend. Congrats!


    kamran replied:

    Brian- you are the best. Thank you! :)

  • Megan
    September 15th, 2011

    Congratulations on the cookbook! I happened upon your blog a few days ago looking for a bagel recipe. I love it! The puff pastry looks good I thought it was a lot more complicated, might give it a try after the bagels. Thanks for some fabulous recipes, keep up the great work.

  • Nicole Franzen
    September 15th, 2011

    looks fantastic! I want one now please! Can you bring it to BK ;)

  • olga
    September 15th, 2011

    so happy for you, friend!! lovely profile and news!!

    kamran replied:

    Olga- thanks, friend! :)

  • shahida aunty
    September 15th, 2011

    My baby, sooooooooooo proud of you… Everything looks great on your recipes , but tooooo lazy to make them. So you have to make some for me , when you come over next time, ok? Love you and congrats!

  • Kristina @ spabettie
    September 15th, 2011

    congratulations to you! absolutely deserved.

    these tarts look wonderful!

  • art and lemons
    September 15th, 2011

    This is excellent news—I’m so happy for you and your success! A book deal, Gourmet Live…can’t wait to see what’s next and to make this tart in the mean time.

  • Emily | Nomnivorous
    September 15th, 2011

    Holy moly, congratulations on the book deal! So very happy for you, and thank you for sharing with us, especially those who don’t own an iPad. ;)

  • Goolsat Atem
    September 15th, 2011

    KAMRAN. very big congratulations to you, my dear! this is much deserved by such a talented young lad like yourself. When you said, “i can’t believe i just said that” i said, i *can* believe it. kid, you kick arse! keep up the great work.

  • Lindsey
    September 15th, 2011

    Wow, Kamran, big congratulations on the book! That’s so very exciting! And those figs – lovely fruits, aren’t they?

  • baa
    September 15th, 2011

    Great news. I knew this was coming sooner than later :) Good on you, mate

  • One Hungry Mama
    September 15th, 2011

    Amazing! And so deserved. Congrats, congrats! I’m thrilled… for you and to make that gorgeous fig tart. Enjoy the ride!

  • The Cilantropist
    September 15th, 2011

    Congrats Kamran! That news is SO exciting! And of course, your fig tart is easy and beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  • Rosie @ Sweetapolita
    September 15th, 2011

    Congratulations, Kamran! You deserve all of the success in this world, and I’m so truly happy for you. Wishing you the moon, the stars, and, well, a fabulous book deal! You’re amazing. xo
    PS. The fig tart is lovely!

  • Lauren
    September 15th, 2011

    Oh Kam, I’m so happy for you. This book, it’s going to be amazing. I know that whatever stage you’re at, it already is. The final product will blow us all out of the water. And this fig tart! Positively stunning.

  • Helene
    September 15th, 2011

    I am doing so excited to hear the news. I want it!!! Can’t wait to see how it goes. Keep us posted. Congrats!!!

  • Shannalee
    September 15th, 2011

    Well, one thing’s for sure: your book will be beautiful. Killer photos here. Wow!

  • Tricia
    September 15th, 2011

    Well, you KNOW I’m excited. Let’s be real though, you deserve this. You can be humble if you want, but the truth is clear – talent, hard work, great taste, it all comes through so beautifully in you. I can’t wait to see the finished product and hear about the process.

    May every bit of inspiration arrive when you need it most.

    Oh, and I got my hands on some figs recently too. Mine barely made it past the door. Your resolve is amazing ;)

    kamran replied:

    Tricia- you are the sweetest! Thank you. :) As for those figs, I don’t blame you- I could eat them as is and be as happy as can be. Lovely little gems they are.

  • Lucy Vaserfirer
    September 15th, 2011

    That’s amazing news! Congratulations and good luck!!!

  • El
    September 15th, 2011

    Fantastic! I’m so excited for you. I can’t wait to hear more about it. The fig tart looks good too.

  • christelle is flabbergasting
    September 15th, 2011

    Again : gorgeous tarts! But I came back to read your post tonight to see what kind of exciting news you had to share! AND WHAT A NEWS!! Big big congrats Kamran! Man, you deserved it! And I truly hope that besides your original recipes and beautiful pictures, we will also find your inspiring words cause I just love the way you write! You’re passionate about food and it’s really great to read and feel your passion (maybe cause I am passionate about food too, but, well, you really know how to share!)
    Keep us posted and good luck for the future months of cooking/ writing/photographying!

    kamran replied:

    Christelle- you’ve warmed my heart with this comment. Thanks so much! I really do hope to share as much passion in this project as I try to on this site. And I will most definitely share updates! :)

  • JulieD
    September 15th, 2011

    Beautiful tart and I am so excited for you!!!! Well-deserved…I can’t wait to hear more about it, see it and feel it in my hands. I’ll be here cheering you on!! So proud of you.

  • rachelsdigestif
    September 15th, 2011

    I adore figs and think this is a lovely, simple idea! Thanks for posting.

  • Liren
    September 16th, 2011

    Congratulations, Kamran, that is just beyond exciting! I look forward to seeing your words in print, on paper! And love these tarts – figs are my weakness, so to place them on homemade puff pastry is just happiness.

    kamran replied:

    Liren- thank you! I’d say strawberries are my biggest weakness (I can’t get enough of them!), but when I see figs, I run to them.

  • Cristina
    September 16th, 2011

    Congrats on the exciting news! ;) What a beautiful post and your photography is just gorgeous – luv the coloring technique.

    I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve avoided making my own puff pastry and still buying. When I get my oven back…will try it. Wish I had one of these fig tarts right now.

  • Kristy A.
    September 16th, 2011

    Big congratulations on the exciting news and the gourmet live article, Kamran! As the many comments above said- you deserve this, young man. Your beautiful writing, photography, and site deserve this kind of recognition. By the by, has Saveur done a write up of your site? If they haven’t, they should be ashamed! I’ve looked at some food blogs flaunting that red badge that don’t deserve the recognition. Don’t get me started. But here you are 19 and you’re an EXCELLENT writer, photographer, AND you are already about to write a cookbook! I wish I knew what I wanted to do with my life at your age.

    kamran replied:

    Kristy- Thanks so much for the kind words!

  • Khushboo @ Two Megapixel Food
    September 16th, 2011

    Congratulations Kamran! If I wasn’t married already, I’d marry you..! Seriously though, your work is amazing.

  • Vijitha
    September 16th, 2011

    Congrats on the exciting news!!! I love your writing, photographs and everthing about your blog. You deserve this!!!

  • Jenny | How to Make Buttermilk
    September 16th, 2011

    Congratulations! I am loving your blog right now. Thank you! Will be on the look out for more!

  • Lori
    September 16th, 2011

    Incredible news and I’m tossing my “congratulations” into the ring with all of the others! And those fig tarts aren’t bad looking either!

  • merry jennifer
    September 16th, 2011

    Congratulations to you, Kamran! I can’t wait to hear more about it when you’re able to share. I’ll be one of the first to buy it. :)

  • Amanda
    September 16th, 2011


  • Myra Posert
    September 16th, 2011

    I looked at 45 recipes for fig tarts on the web and chose yours to try on Sunday for a big family brunch! My fig tree is full of perfectly ripe figs right now. If you were near-by I would give you a basket full! I’m sure the tarts will be a big hit! Thank you for sharing your recipe, and congratulations on the cook book!

    kamran replied:

    Myra- Well, I hope these were approved by your family :) And thanks so much!

  • Karen (Back Road Journal)
    September 17th, 2011

    You must be so excited about an approaching book deal. Congratulations! The fig tart is picture perfect. I especially like the pistachio cream.

    kamran replied:

    Karen- Thanks! I could sit with a bowl of that pistachio whipped cream and still be a happy camper- simply delicious.

  • Nutmeg Nanny
    September 17th, 2011

    Beautiful and delicious!

  • Phyllis Kirigin
    September 17th, 2011

    You are truly awesome. Your blog is a gem. Congratulations on your upcoming book. You certainly deserve the offer. It’s sure to be a sensation.

    kamran replied:

    Phyllis- thanks so much! It means a lot to me! :)

  • Cyndi
    September 18th, 2011

    Kam, big congratulations to you! (: I want to make these today (I made the quick puff pastry earlier); my local store always has many varieties of figs in stock; I was wondering what figs you were using here?

    kamran replied:

    Hi Cyndi- thanks so much! I believe I used black mission figs.

  • fitzgerald
    September 19th, 2011

    Congratulations! That’s amazing. This looks amazing. It’s just beginning to warm up over here in Australia and so I think I’ll have to have a go at making my own puff pastry to make summer fruit tarts. Thanks! (your photography, as usual, astounds me with its beauty.)

  • Adam
    September 19th, 2011

    Congratulations! It’s no surprise that someone wants to publish you! Your recipes are not only delicious, but each one reads like a beautifully written sonnet. Please keep us informed!

    kamran replied:

    Adam- thanks so much for your kind words. You have no idea how greatly they mean to me! Thank you. :)

  • Abigail
    September 19th, 2011

    hello! i’m new to your beautiful blog but so happy to have stumbled your way. and what perfect timing: congratulations on your book endeavor! i’m looking forward to reading more :)

  • Alice Wite
    September 19th, 2011


    It’s recipes like yours that make me run into the kitchen. They’re not full of that boring baking language that so many recipe makers use. It’s beautiful, descriptive and makes me feel like you’re holding my hand through each step even if the recipe is as simple as the one above. I can’t say it as well as Adam in comment 45 did “each [of your recipes] read like a beautifully written sonnet.” Your mother must be so proud to have such a talented son!

    CONGRATULATIONS on the book deal! I have a feeling the publishing company adores your work as much as all of us do. We’ll be crossing our fingers, praying and hoping that when you go on tour for the book, we’ll get to meet the inspiring young man behind it all. I can’t wait for the book.

    keep up the great work


    kamran replied:

    Alice Wite- Between you, Adam, and everyone else, I cannot thank you enough for the kind words (and prayers!)! You’ve truly warmed my heart. Really. I couldn’t feel any more grateful and blessed to be surrounded by such supportive people. Thank you.

    As for the book tour? I think it’s too soon to know if there’ll even be one, but if there is, you all will be first to know! Thanks again! :)

  • jas
    September 19th, 2011

    wow congrats on both the feature AND the book deal – sounds amazing!

    kamran replied:

    Jas- Thanks so much! :)

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking
    September 20th, 2011

    Congratulations. :) You are so talented and you deserve this. Can’t wait to hear more details in the coming months. So glad I got to meet you in person (at blogher food) so that I can put a real life person with the blog and book. :)

    kamran replied:

    Megan- thanks so much! It was such a pleasure meeting you, as well! :)

  • Amy | She Wears Many Hats
    September 20th, 2011

    These are over the top gorgeous Kam! Really lovely.

    And congratulations! Yay! Can’t wait to see what you create.

    kamran replied:

    Amy- you’re the sweetest; thank you, friend! :)

  • Winnie
    September 22nd, 2011

    KAM! What wonderful news- so proud to know you and, well, it’s just so awesome to hear that your talent is being recognized. Love the fig tarts…have not found any this year around here but I will keep looking :)

    kamran replied:

    Winnie- thanks so much! They’re so darn difficult to find sometimes. I suspect that it might be because so many people immediately think that figs taste like the filling in fig newtons- the cookies that they despised throughout their childhood. The fresh kind taste like heaven- I wish more people knew that.

  • Bohemian Hijabi
    September 23rd, 2011

    Congratulations That is amazing news. I have been following your blog silently for some time (you even have a spot on my blog roll) and you really inspire me in the kitchen. Thanks for taking the time out to share your culinary adventures with us.

  • Y
    September 25th, 2011

    Exciting news! And love those fig tarts – I can’t wait for figs to come into season here. Tarts are certainly on my list of things to make :)

  • Isabel @ Pretty Tasty Things
    September 28th, 2011

    BEAUTIFUL and Congratulations!! Those figs look so simply delicious and i love your photography!!

  • J. @ kawaii kitchen
    September 29th, 2011

    Oh wow that’s fantastic news! Congratulations ;) And those fig tarts look lovely …

  • --kyleen--
    October 1st, 2011

    Congratulations on your book proposal! These fig tarts look gorgeous. I’ve tried making puff pastry before, but it never puffed up quite as much as I wanted it too. I’m definitely going to check out your version of puff pastry.

  • Kulsum at JourneyKitchen
    October 2nd, 2011

    Kamran I’m so proud and happy for you. But you know you deserve every bit of it. You are such a great talent. xo

  • Kelsey (Happyolks)
    October 2nd, 2011

    Pistachio whipped cream? Oh my word. That sounds amazing. I too relate to the feeling of fig thievery, yesterday at the co-op the black missions were on sale and I decided that yes… a half basket of these WOULD in fact count as lunch. Many many many congratulations on the first steps toward creating a book! You must be giddy-excited, nervous, all of the above. I’m so glad you found me on twitter so I could find you! I can’t wait to watch your journey to “published author” here in this space. Be well :)

  • Julie
    October 5th, 2011

    Wow, what a stunning tart – and I wouldn’t have thought to scatter whipped cream with pistachios. You never cease to amaze!

    And DOUBLE WOW re the book deal! No one deserves it better!! You’ll put together a stunning book!

  • Sukaina
    October 8th, 2011

    Congratulations Kamran. What exciting news and well deserved boy! I wish you all the best with this endeavor and I’m sure many more wonderful things will come your way.

  • Prerna@IndianSimmer
    October 14th, 2011

    What WOOT? Say that again? Wohoo! So happy for you my friend. This book deal was long coming and its finally here. Congratulations! Now I can not wait to lay my hands on that book :-)

  • Zita
    October 22nd, 2011

    Wow! This book deal is amazing news! Congratulations!

    Yummie fig tart, I want a slice now!

  • Eleanor Hoh
    October 24th, 2011

    Congrats Kamran on your upcoming book deal! You’re going to be a star!

  • Vanessa
    October 27th, 2011

    Stunning as always. Loving the color of those figs.

  • Aly
    November 18th, 2011

    I have been following this blog for quite some time, and I think pretty much everything about it is amazing. You are an excellent writer, photographer, and cook, and I wish you much luck in your book deal. I’ll be buying it once it hits the shelves.

  • mycookinghut
    November 20th, 2011

    Congrats on the book deal!

  • Judy
    February 6th, 2012

    Congratulations! It’s like a dream come true – food + books. Will be waiting with bated breath for it!

  • Arlene
    August 12th, 2012

    Just made puff pastry for the first time today from your recipe (was too lazy to go get some at the store) and it turned out great. I’d like to say it was a local organic market, but I have to say I was inspired by some great (and cheap!) figs I saw at Costco today. This recipe totally hit the spot…didn’t do the whipped cream but served the tarts with some ice cream as it was a really warm day today. Thanks for the great tips and what a great blog!

  • MhaiS21
    January 3rd, 2013

    Three words. I AM INLOVE. :-) I think I am one of your biggest, biggest and biggest fans!

  • Chef Portia
    August 23rd, 2013

    I cannot wait to try these… it’s almost fig season!

  • Allison Day
    August 26th, 2013

    So I got some figs in my CSA box this week, and having never actually eaten/cooked with figs before, I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I knew I wanted to make some sort of dessert, and it needed to be super simple.

    Luckily for me, I had bookmarked this post ages ago, and happened to have some puff pastry in the freezer (store-bought… don’t tell anyone ;) ). I made them tonight (I used one sheet to make 9 pastries, with one quartered fig on each)… and my boyfriend and I have already eaten four of them. :D


    These would be great for breakfast, with coffee or tea, or for dessert. I’m already thinking of making them with all sorts of different fruits – I will definitely be making these again! Thank you for the recipe!

  • Christie
    September 6th, 2013

    Hi! I usually don’t comment on these websites/blogs, but I just made this fig tart and it is so good, I just had to let you know! Thank you so much for this recipe! It is one I will keep and make anytime I get my hands on some ripe figs.

  • Fig Tarts on
    September 7th, 2014

    […] I want to make someday” to figure out what to do with them. I came across this recipe from Sophisticated Gourmet, and a few sheets of puff pastry later, I was eating a super-simple but very delicious fig […]

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