Rustic Fig & Feta Tart

Figs are in abundance at this time of year, a quick scan around some of the great Aussie food blogs and you’ll get the general idea. We’re lucky enough to have access to Paul’s mum’s backyard fig tree which fruits heavily every year so I’ve been coming up with some creative ways to use them. They are a tricky fruit, you’ve got to get to them before the birds do but you’ve also got to make sure they are perfectly ripe as they don’t ripen further once picked. They are such a great looking tree though, I’d love to have one in our yard – maybe one day.

My mum and dad used to have a fig tree along with an apricot, nectarine and peach. I have fond memories of Mum making up huge batches of fig jam on the stove when we’d reach serious glut levels but, you know, I never really liked to eat it. It’s funny now to think back on it, I don’t know that I’d ever actually tried it, I think it was the visible seeds that bothered me rather than any taste aversion. These days I’m a lot less fussy and will happily eat pretty much anything (except meat, of course!), although I do stop short at eating figs fresh off the tree, I don’t think it’s anything rational though so maybe I just should bite the bullet, or the fig for that matter!

This tart is one of the ways I’ve been using up our stash of figs and was inspired by a recipe I saw over at Hunger and Sauce. It’s a little tart that is super simple to put together and combines just the right balance between salty and sweet. Although it sounds fancy, it’s really not – there are four key ingredients: Figs, Feta, Pastry and Thyme. The rest you can play around with to suit yourself, maybe add some fennel or olives or go with Irving’s suggestion and use pomegranate molasses instead. I served mine with a nice green salad, it reheated nicely in the sandwich press at work the next day too.

If you’re like me and have a good supply of fresh figs then I recommend checking out some of the other fabulous recipes I’ve seen floating around at the moment all of which use the humble fig as a centrepiece:

For the sweet tooth, there is this amazing Fig Frangipane Tart from the lovely Lizzy over at Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things. I love a good frangipane and will be having a go at this with my next batch.

For the meat-eater there is the inspired Fig, Prosciutto & Pear salad from Christina at The Hungry Australian. I’m trying to decide what a good vego alternative to the prosciutto would be, maybe some salty olives or smoky almonds?

And for the cheese lover there is a wonderfully simple fig paste from Jennifer over at le delicieux,  perfect for a cheeky cheese platter.

What is your favourite way to use figs? Let me know in the comments below.

Fig & Feta Tart

Inspired by recipe over at Hunger & Sauce

Serves 4
- Vego

1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted

1 egg, lightly beaten

4-5 ripe figs

2 tbspns honey

2 tbspns balsamic vinegar

200g feta

2 tbspns slivered almonds

10 sprigs of fresh thyme

salt & pepper

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade (200 if not using fan-forced).

Grab the pastry and lay it out on a greased oven tray. Gently cut a 1cm border into the pastry, being careful not to cut all the way through. Gently wash with the egg mixture.

Cut an ‘x’ shape into the figs, cut most of the way down but leave them attached at the bottom so that you can splay them out into a sort of star pattern.

In a bowl mix together the honey and balsamic vinegar. Brush the mixture onto the fleshy side of the figs using a pastry brush and lay them out on the pastry.

Crumble the feta over the top of the figs, filling in the gaps on the pastry.

Sprinkle on the almonds and thyme and then season with a little salt and pepper. I used about half a teaspoon of salt and a few grinds on the pepper grinder.

Pop into the oven for about 20 minutes until the pastry has become golden, the feta has melted and the almonds are nicely browned.

Serve with a green salad.

Eat and enjoy!

11 Comments

  • Your fig tart looks fantastic and a great way to enjoy figs. I’m jealous of your fig tree. I would love one!

    Thanks for the mention of my fig paste too!

    • Erin B says:

      Thanks Jennifer, the tree is at my partners parents house which isn’t too far away. It is such a big beautiful old tree, the fruit is an added bonus really.

  • I love the gorgeous colour that figs give. So pretty!

    I just finished reading a fig paste recipe on another blog. It seems figs are the fruit of the moment. I wish I had a fruit tree.

    I have a dwarf lemon and lime and in the 3 years I’ve had them they’ve given me nothing 🙁 Maybe this year!

    • Erin B says:

      Thanks Claire! You weren’t reading Jennifer’s post over at Delicieux were you? I hear you on the dwarf trees, mine are in the same boat so I’ve been pampering them a bit lately in the hopes that they yield this year. I am told that they take a while to establish but I’ve never been particularly patient. 🙂

  • delicio8 says:

    Oh you are so lucky! My grandfather had an enormous fig tree in his yard and I learned to eat figs off the tree very young. This tart just looks delicious. We are in the dead of winter up here so no figs for a few more months at least! You lucky thing!

  • Heather says:

    You are so lucky! I have always wanted to taste a fresh fig but have yet to do so, they do not grow well locally and i believe are hard to transport because they spoil quickly; your tart looks beautiful!

  • I know what you mean about figs being in every second blog. I’m definitely seeing them everywhere, can’t say I’m complaining.

    Speaking of figs straight from a tree, near Sellicks Beach there is a tree on the side of the road, I grabbed a fig off it the other day and it was the best fresh fig I’ve had. So I’m definitely an advocate for fresh off the tree. 🙂

  • Yum, yum, yum! Your fig tart looks (and sounds) scrumptious.

    Thanks so much for mentioning my Fig and Prosciutto Salad, too, Erin 🙂

  • mamacino says:

    I’m always wondering what to do with figs…thanks for the great suggestions.

  • Louise says:

    Hi Erin, Have just discovered your website – very impressed.
    I was lucky enough to have two huge fig trees in the garden (behind the chook run) when I lived in the Perth hills in the late 1980s/early 1990s. We loved throwing fresh figs (or plums or nectarines) into salads of any sort – they seemed to go especially well with any salad that involved fresh rocket. Also used to grill figs as a perfect accompaniment to barbecued haloumi. Made lots of fig jam, chutney and fig paste, too, of course.
    Have planted a fig tree here in Victoria, too, but we’re still waiting for fruit – a 14-year drought hasn’t helped, alas. Might have to visit Sellicks when the fig season comes around this year!

    • Erin B says:

      Thanks Louise, I hope the fig tree works out – I have read that there is a type of ornamental fig that will never bear fruit, you haven’t got one of those by any chance?

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