Fresh sliced figs

Fig fruit tart (Seasonal Saturday: 6 Apr 2013)

Figs! My favourite fruit, with such a short window of seasonality, you’d be mad not to take advantage of them. One of my favourite things to do with them, apart from just eat them, is make a delicious simple, “Cheat’s tart”. This recipe is fantastic for showcasing a single perfect fruit, whether it’s strawberries, peaches or figs, and also looks spectacular which makes it a great, easy dessert for a special dinner party or occasion.

Quick info

  • Servings: 8
  • Time to prepare: 10 mins
  • Time to cook: ~30 mins
  • Dessert


  • ~2 cups custard
  • 1 x gelatine sheet
  • 1 x packet shortcrust pastry
  • ~2 cups seasonal fruit (e.g. figs, strawberries, peaches)



Grab some really good quality packaged pastry; for a treat I use Careme from South Australia. The chocolate pastry is to die for. [ed note: the more adventurous may consider creating your own for scratch, for example using this shortcrust pastry recipe at].

Then make a custard filling: I use a basic custard recipe from For this recipe you’d need to probably double the quantities.

Then I add gelatine to make it set (1 x titanium strength sheet). [ed note: some more information on gelatine sheets vs. powder here and here]

While I’m making the custard I roll out the pastry and lay it in a tart tin and trim it off.

Cut your chosen fruit (you may choose to do this at the time you lay them out).


Prick the base of the pastry lined tin, then line it with baking paper and add some dried beans, rice or pastry weights and blind bake it till it feels cooked (around 15–20 minutes at around 180).

Take it out to cool.

Once cool, fill with your cooled, but not-yet-set, custard and smooth it out.

If you haven’t already, cut your figs (or other fruit) and arrange over your tart.

Now you can either leave the tarts raw, or you can sprinkle with brown sugar and blowtorch (but I don’t think it’s necessary with the sweetness from the custard).


Here’s what the finished tart could look like, if you’re using strawberries ;)

Strawberry and custard tart

The finished tart, using strawberries instead of figs.