Dessert

Easy Fig Tarts & News!

September 14, 2011 | 89 Comments

Fig Tarts Recipe | sophisticatedgourmet.com

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, but these fig tarts needed to be made.

Fig Tarts Recipe | sophisticatedgourmet.com

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 Recipe | sophisticatedgourmet.com

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 Recipe | sophisticatedgourmet.com

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 Recipe | sophisticatedgourmet.com

Fig Tarts Recipe | sophisticatedgourmet.com

Fig Tarts Recipe | sophisticatedgourmet.com

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 Recipe | sophisticatedgourmet.com

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 Recipe | sophisticatedgourmet.com

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.

Ingredients:
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

Preparation:
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.

Enjoy!

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89 Comments

54
  • Reply fitzgerald September 19, 2011 at 1:53 am

    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.)

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  • Reply Adam September 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    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!

    • Reply kamran September 19, 2011 at 7:46 pm

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

    56
  • Reply Abigail September 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    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 :)

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  • Reply Alice Wite September 19, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    KAMRAN,

    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

    ~ALICE WITE

    • Reply kamran September 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      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! :)

    58
  • Reply jas September 19, 2011 at 8:22 pm

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

    • Reply kamran September 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      Jas- Thanks so much! :)

    59
  • Reply megan @ whatmegansmaking September 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    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. :)

    • Reply kamran September 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm

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

    60
  • Reply Amy | She Wears Many Hats September 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    These are over the top gorgeous Kam! Really lovely.

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

    • Reply kamran September 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm

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

    61
  • Reply Winnie September 22, 2011 at 8:56 am

    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 :)

    • Reply kamran September 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      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.

    62
  • Reply Bohemian Hijabi September 23, 2011 at 8:48 am

    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.

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  • Reply Y September 25, 2011 at 10:04 am

    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 :)

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  • Reply Isabel @ Pretty Tasty Things September 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

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

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  • Reply J. @ kawaii kitchen September 29, 2011 at 8:11 am

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

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  • Reply --kyleen-- October 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    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.

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  • Reply Kulsum at JourneyKitchen October 2, 2011 at 7:16 am

    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

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  • Reply Kelsey (Happyolks) October 2, 2011 at 9:13 am

    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 :)

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  • Reply Julie October 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    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!

  • 70
  • Reply Sukaina October 8, 2011 at 11:42 am

    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.

  • 71
  • Reply [email protected] October 14, 2011 at 11:50 am

    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 :-)

  • 72
  • Reply Zita October 22, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Wow! This book deal is amazing news! Congratulations!

    Yummie fig tart, I want a slice now!

  • 73
  • Reply Eleanor Hoh October 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm

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

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  • Reply Vanessa October 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Stunning as always. Loving the color of those figs.

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  • Reply Aly November 18, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    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.

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  • Reply mycookinghut November 20, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Congrats on the book deal!

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  • Reply Judy February 6, 2012 at 3:37 am

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

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  • Reply Arlene August 12, 2012 at 4:34 am

    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!

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  • Reply MhaiS21 January 3, 2013 at 5:09 am

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

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  • Reply Chef Portia August 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm

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

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  • Reply Allison Day August 26, 2013 at 2:47 am

    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

    THEY ARE SO GOOD.

    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!

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  • Reply Christie September 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    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.

  • Reply kamran September 18, 2011 at 10:52 am

    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.

  • Reply kamran September 18, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Kristy- Thanks so much for the kind words!

  • Reply kamran September 18, 2011 at 11:06 am

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

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