It’s that special time of year! That time of year when you walk into the grocery store and see that figs are for sale! Fig season is one of my favorite seasons because figs are precious and elegant, like diamonds. Can you imagine if there was a diamond season? Ladiez would be going crazy. I would still be shopping for figs over diamonds, but I imagine a lot of ladiez would be going crazy.
Anyhoo, I was searching Pinterest for fig-spiration (get it? I hope so, it was pretty obvious), and I came across this STUNNING fig tart from The Bojon Gourmet. Alanna is one of the most talented bloggers with a special gift for healthifying desserts, so I knew I wanted to make this gorgeous tart.
I have no doubt that Alanna’s original recipe is to-die-for, but here is my spin on it if you’d like to try it out. I shared it with friends, and they devoured it in seconds. One of my friends asked me to send him the recipe so he could make it for his newly vegan girlfriend (SO CUTE).
My favorite part of this dessert is the unique crust. It’s made from a trio of flours—corn, almond, and oat. The result is a crumbly and slightly crunchy crust that’s so good you can eat it on its own. It’s like a cross between a flaky pie crust and a shortbread cookie, except imagine the shortbread cookie is part cornbread. Was that confusing at all?
The coconut-cashew cream filling is rich and creamy, lending a delightful textural contrast to the crust, and gets a bright makeover from orange zest and fresh figs. Dollops of coconut-cashew cream alternate with sliced figs, creating a beautiful layered look.
Aside from its beautiful look and amazing taste, this recipe is vegan (obvi) and gluten-free! So you can have your fig cake and eat it too!
Fig Tart with Coconut-Cashew Cream (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray for greasing the pan
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal or corn flour
1⁄2 cup blanched almond flour or almond meal
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
1⁄4 cup organic cane sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons cold vegan butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or more vanilla extract)
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 1 hour
1/3 cup coconut cream (the thick, solid portion from a can of full-fat coconut milk)
½ cup agave nectar (or maple syrup)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
20-25 fresh figs, trimmed and sliced very thinly
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
For the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, corn flour, almond flour, arrowroot powder, sugar and sea salt. Scatter the vegan butter pieces on the top and add the vanilla extract and almond extract. Using an electric handheld mixer, mix on low speed just until the dough comes together in clumps, about 2-4 minutes. Alternatively, you can do this step in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
Grease a rectangular (14”x4”) tart pan with a removable bottom (or a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom) with coconut oil or cooking spray. Add the crust mixture into the tart pan with and press evenly into the pan, starting with the sides and then the bottom. Freeze the crust until it is firm, about 20-30 minutes.
Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until it is golden-brown, about 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before adding the filling.
To make the filling: Drain the soaked cashews and add them to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the coconut cream and blend until the mixture resembles ricotta cheese. Add the remaining filling ingredients except for the figs and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed.
Pour a little less than half of the coconut-cashew cream into the tart shell, using a rubber spatula to smooth out the surface. Chill the tart to slightly set, about 20 minutes.
Then top the cream with a layer of sliced figs. Pour the remaining coocnut-cashew cream on top of the layer of figs and chill for another 20 minutes. Finally, top the second layer of cream with the last layer of sliced figs. Chill the tart until it is firm enough to slice, at least 2 hours, or overnight.