Every year around this same time, I make the twenty-minutes-by-car epic journey home to visit my parents.

I’m sure they think it’s because I’m a good daughter.  Because I want to see them “one last time” before the craziness of the school year starts.

But so long as we’re being honest.  (And when are we ever not?)

I do it for the figs.


I grew up with two fig trees in our backyard and so I had no idea how much of a hot commodity they were until I went to college and no one I knew had ever heard of or eaten them before.  I suppose even then, I thought it was weird, but still didn’t think much of it.

Then I started reading food blogs.  (Especially one in particular. Stacey, I’m talking to you.)

Almost immediately realized just how coveted they are.

And thus began my career as a fig thief.


This past Sunday was the day.

After a trip to IKEA with my brother and finalizing dinner plans with my mother, which included having to  explain to her for the umpteenth time that chicken is not under any circumstances vegetarian, I casually sauntered around our backyard.  As obliquely as possible.

Until I happened to find myself standing in front of the trees in question.  Coincidence?  Fate?  (Our yard is not quite big enough for either of those arguments to hold weight in a court of law.  But still.  A girl can dream.) Sheer force of will?

You be the judge.


Sadly enough, I was only able to steal borrow scavenge a single fig this year, likely due to Hurricane Irene’s evil ways.

(And to think my parents said that there was no water damage to the house!  Apparently, they forgot to assess their most prized possession.)


It was a let-down for sure.

I may or may not have cried.  Inconsolably.


Thankfully, however, though my parents’ trees may not have endured NYC’s latest natural disaster, wherever the street fruit vendors are sourcing their goods from did not come to a similar fate.

They’ve had “two pints for five bucks” specials for the past few weeks.  And man. Have I ever been buying.

One of the first things I made with the figs this year, after inhaling a box as is, is this fresh fig and strawberry tart.  I’ve had it bookmarked since I bought Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts cookbook back in February.  And it was most certainly worth the wait.

Filled with a hazelnut frangipane-esque cream, it is both nutty and fruity at the same time.  You’ll find yourself cutting slivers of it every time you pass the kitchen table (funny, isn’t it, how often that seems to happen when there’s a tart on it). I have it on the highest authority that sliver calories don’t count.  So slice away.


Fresh Fig and Strawberry Tart
Makes 1 10-inch tart, adapted from Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts Cookbook


  • 1 1/4 cups spelt flour (or AP flour)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
  • 3/4 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • Salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp amaretto (or cognac)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 8 oz figs, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 8 oz strawberries, halved if large


  1. Make the crust: Pulse flour, sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor until combined.  Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds.  Drizzle 2 tbsp ice water over mixture.  Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together (it should be neither wet nor sticky).  If dough is too try, add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, and pulse.  Press dough into a disk and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, or overnight.
  2. Roll dough to a 14-inch circle on a floured surface.  Fit dough into bottom and sides of a 10-inch round tart pan.  Trim excess dough flush with edges, using a knife.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.  Prick bottom of tart shell all over with a fork. Fill with pie weights or dried beans or dried rice.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove weights and bake until set, about 5 minutes.  Let cool. Leave oven on.
  4. Pulse hazelnuts in the food processor until finely chopped.  Add sugars, zest, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Pulse to combine.  Add butter, amaretto, eggs, and vanilla.  Pulse until mixture is almost smooth.
  5. Spread filling evenly into tart shell.  Top with figs and strawberries.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 325.  Bake until set and dark brown on top – 1 hour more.  Garnish with whipped cream.

I am submitting this to Bake with Bizzy!


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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103 Responses to Fresh Fig and Strawberry Tart

  1. Yasmeen says:

    Joanne, this is awesome. I grew up eating figs – just love them! Love the combination with strawberries and hazelnuts. Beautiful!

  2. bellini says:

    I saw figs at my local Italian grocers but they were from Turkey, or maybe they were just Turkish figs. What I coveted there was the San Marzano tomatoes from the wonders garden!!!!!

  3. Karly says:

    I’m big on stealing food goodies from my parents, too. They just planted raspberry bushes and I CAN’T WAIT.

    I’ve never had a fig, though. Unless you count Fig Newtons? Then, yes. Also, ew.

  4. Patsyk says:

    I haven’t had a fig (other than a Fig Newton)… mainly because I had no idea what to do with them! May have to pick some up next time I am at the market now.

  5. I love combining figs with strawberries. This tart looks to die for. literally I want it as my last meal! Oh and adding in hazelnuts- genius. That just puts this over the top

  6. I can’t believe you had a fig tree in your back yard, amazing! I’ve actually never baked with figs but this tart could be an amazing place to start! And thank gd that slivers have no calories. Neither do broken cookie pieces.

  7. Great looking tart! Nice combination of figs with the nuts and berries, I’d love a nice, big slice!

  8. Amazing! What a beautiful tart. That’s so neat there’s a fig tree in your backyard!

  9. Candace says:

    One of my favorite childhood memories and foods that I absolutely adored was my mom’s Strawberry Fig Preserves. What a fantastic combination of flavors. Your tart is just gorgeous and I know that if I had access to those figs and could actually stop myself from just eating the figs by themselves…one after another….I would love to make one of those for my family. Yum!

  10. Hannah says:

    Y’know… I never considered combining strawberries and figs. They just seemed to be of two opposite seasons. Maybe I could squeeze that concept in, since there are still -some- strawberries about (and it’s not terribly far beyond their season, if anything) and the figs are just beginning to pop up. I’m totally intrigued by the idea, at least!

  11. I haven’t seen a fig at the local market in WEEKS. Are your parents looking to adopt another child? Can I get in line? 🙂
    This looks fantastic.

  12. brocstar says:

    The closest I’ve been to a fig is in a cookie. It’s something I should probably tackle one of these days.

  13. Lyndsey says:

    I have been eyeing the figs that are on sale at Publix all week, not knowing what I wanted to do with them, and not being a baker, and not wanting to let them go bad I didn’t buy them. I know what I am doing after work today…this looks amazing and I even have som Frangelico that I’ll bet would work good here!

  14. Lora says:

    Gorgeous! And I love the spelt crust. One of my favorites.

  15. brandi says:

    this looks gorgeous! i’m still getting figs, so come on over! 🙂

  16. Jeanette says:

    I just bought some figs at Whole Foods this week – we had a fig tree growing up too! Would love to try this tart with the spelt crust, full of whole grain goodness!

  17. I absolutely love dried figs though yet to try the fresh ones. They are extremely expensive here, like a dollar each! Unfortunately no fig trees in my backyard

  18. Jessie says:

    NEVER apologize for your love of figs, Joanne! I will proclaim my love for figs from the rooftops. I can’t believe I didn’t discover these jewels until after college. Now, I can’t seem to get enough – I’ve never had them in a tart, though!

    (By the way, I’m pretty sure you’re not fooling your parents. They know perfectly well you only come to see them for the figs, especially if you’re always looking for figs over their shoulders. Kind of like looking for the more important person to talk to at a party, no? 😉 ).

  19. Danielle says:

    This looks great! Figs are BOGO at the grocery store this week and I have been stocking up.

  20. MM says:

    Oh…I’m saving this for next year’s crop! Assuming no drought or other calamities.

    I like how you assess storm damage. I feel the same way.

    Pretty sure you’re right that slivers don’t count. That’s why they’re called slivers and not pieces. Now a piece–that’ll pack on the pounds.

  21. Rachel says:

    Not a fig theif, but a transformer of figs into delightful desserts! My mom has a fig tree but unfortunately she lives in another state so I can’t help her use her bountiful harvest this summer. I will certainly send her this recipe, though!

  22. that sounds delightful. my friend introduced me to figs a few years back. first had them with brie on toast… yum!

  23. Kim says:

    I want to make about every damn pie and tart in Martha’s book! This one really stood out to me too. It’s hazelnut cream base reminds me of a similar base I made for FFwD and it was fabulous. It looks so seasonal and beautiful, Joanne.

  24. Mary says:

    What a lovely treat. This sounds delicious and is especially interesting as the combination is usual. I really have to give this a try. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  25. Julie says:

    I am very relieved to hear that slivers don’t count…with this tart, I would be slivering till it was gone 🙂

  26. Elizabeth says:

    I am drooling, flat out drooling. Fresh figs are one of my favorite foods EVER. So jealous you grew up with a fig tree.

  27. Shannon says:

    oh my, love love love fresh figs. i made vanilla garlic’s fig-gorgonzola galette and drizzled it with honey… yum.

  28. Amy says:

    Replace figs with pomegranates and this is my story…and my parent’s yard. Love figs and I’m jealous!

  29. how dare hurricane Irene destroy the beloved tree! hopefully next years harvest is promising!

  30. Wine Harlots says:

    What a yummy dessert.
    The perfect pairing is a moscato.


    Nannette Eaton

  31. Shannon says:

    I love everything about this tart. I’ve dreamt about one day having the ability to pick fruit from my back yard. Of course in my dream its citrus of some sort but I’d definitely take figs too!

  32. I wish I could have a slice of this tart. It looks and sounds fantastic with the hazelnut frangipane. Sadly, I still have not had a close encounter with these much “coveted” fruits.

  33. I haven’t tried figs yet this year…the tart looks spectacular!

  34. girlichef says:

    Oh, that looks lovely. I’d definitely have to bake it on a laundry day. That way I’d have to go back and forth from the bedrooms through the kitchen to the basement. Right past the table. Sliver away! Love the fig and strawberry combo 😀

  35. Tasha says:

    I grew up with a haas avocado tree in my yard, and while they are much easier to come by than figs, it really sucked when I could no longer just walk outside and pick myself one. I guess the consolation is now as an adult, I have both an orange and grapefruit tree.

    This tart looks wonderful, and I LOVE the kind of moody picture of the figs on the cutting board towards the bottom.

  36. Joanne, this looks unbelievably good. The end.

  37. Jo,
    My fig tree is lame this year, but I have been able to buy them at the farmer’s market, on most weekends. Tomorrow I will be posting my last fig recipe of the season. Boo hoo.
    Your tart looks amazing! You are a good daughter, even if the figs are the main reason for the visit!

  38. Alisa says:

    Wow, I rarely see fresh figs here, but TJ’s has some. Great idea to use them in a tart!

    Glad all is okay, and that Irene wasn’t too PMS-y and didn’t ruin the whole fig season 🙂

  39. Lynn says:

    Well, Joanne, like some of your college cohorts, I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten a fig. But your tart looks beautiful, and now I’m curious. The last couple weeks I’ve been making forays over to my parents’ house (also less than a half hour away), where they have 16 or 18 pear trees 😉 I am spoiled by the pounds and pounds of pears I make off with every year. Last night I made pear bread and I think today it will be more pear sauce. Happy cooking and eating!

  40. Maria says:

    I need to find me some fresh figs! Lovely tart!

  41. Strawberries and figs, sounds (and looks) like a delicious combination!

    Camila Faria

  42. Wish I had a fig tree that produced RIPE figs – Every year they get to the point where I think they’re going to be good enough to pick, but they are hard as rocks. Lucky you to have parents with fig trees – even if they didn’t give much this year. The tart looks sensational.

  43. Sippity Sup says:

    I call it urban foraging. it’s all about the moniker! GREG

  44. I’ve sadly never had a fig. I’ve always wanted to try them but I’m nervous about the texture, since I’m big on texture. But I may try them in this tart!!!

  45. Kelly says:

    Oh, love this! Look at how gorgeous those figs are, and what a great combination with the strawberry…Beautiful ingredients Joanne.

  46. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, What a beautiful pie. I grew up having my grandfather bring figs by the crate. It was just a part of life. I see so many things that I grew up on now considered “gourmet”. Blessings, Catherine xo

  47. OohLookBel says:

    It would be amazing to have a glut of figs (and this is not a situation I encounter, ever). Your efforts in making sweet dishes like this tart are making me crave summer.

  48. This one is just too lovely for words! I can taste it just buy looking at it!

  49. Delicious! I feel like if its your parents fig tree, and they arent aware of how valuable it is, then its not reeeeeally stealing. Its a daughterly priviledge and you are welcome to take 🙂

  50. Megan says:

    Nutty and fruity sounds wonderful to me. I just made a fig and goat cheese pizza tonight! I still have some figs left so maybe I’ll have to do a dessert with them.

  51. Reeni says:

    My Great Grandpa had a fig tree! Supposedly he brought it with him on the boat from Italy as a tiny seedling. Like it was his baby or something. The tart is lovely! I hope I get a chance to bake with figs.

  52. Natalie says:

    haha i can totally picture you creeping around the fig tree in the backyard! love it 🙂

  53. Roz says:

    A fig thief, huh? Too funny! I’m so excited that it is fig season again and your tart looks simply incredible Joanne! I thought you had already started fall semester. Gosh, we’ve been in session for 3 weeks now. Not fair! Enjoy your sweet figs!!!

  54. Katie says:

    Sorry to here that Irene affected you fig tree! This tart looks delicious though. I may have to pick up some figs from one of those street vendors tomorrow!

  55. That Girl says:

    I hope you make the 20 minute drive more than once a year!

  56. Now this is a tart. I do not even have any trees around here that have figs that I could borrow/steal/take from. Farmers market for me.

  57. Johanna GGG says:

    That is tragic about the tree! I did laugh at your 20 minute drive – if you live in Melbourne you would struggle to get out of town in that time – or are your parents also in NYC? Great tart – you can’t keep a great baker down with a little hurricane shaking a tree

  58. figs and strawberries..ahh heaven!! we purchased a HUGE bucket of figs from a neighbor and have been enjoying them all week!

  59. Im still bummed that that guy ended up being a dud. I was so amped to start reading about your juicy love life juggling in med school.
    I have a fig tree in the backyard EXPLODING with figs. I wish I could sell them – we could make a fortune! But its impossible to sell at farmers markets.. So anyway, I must make this! Send as many fig recipes my way as possible…..

  60. Deborah says:

    I just tried my first fresh fig less than a year ago. But I loved it!! And this tart is so gorgeous. I’ve got to have a piece!

  61. Pam says:

    I have never made anything with figs… how sad is that? Your tart looks AMAZING!

  62. Shirley says:

    Figs and strawberries, what a combo

  63. Joanne this is beauuuttifulll! I need to bake with figs 100% after seeing this gorgeous tart, lovely 🙂

  64. Barbara says:

    We’re crazy for figs at my house too, Joanne. I like the combo of strawberries and figs in your tart…the amaretto addition is right up my alley!

  65. Beth says:

    I don’t know why I can’t buy fresh figs in Toronto. Those of you who come by them easily are the subject of my undying envy!

  66. daphne says:

    How beautiful are those fresh figs!! And the tarts. Lovely paired with strawberries for sure.

  67. I came late to the fig party but there is a tree on the property where I live and I just plundered yesterday! Wish I could send you some, but you, they don’t like to fly. The tart is gorgeous!

  68. I didn’t have figs til later in my childhood, but it was definitely love at first bite. I’m definitely jealous of your ability to score free figs…those babies are too pricey for someone who’s life savings goes towards her tiny Manhattan apt’s rent. This recipe looks totally delicious!

  69. Von says:

    I wish I had a fig tree! I discovered figs for the first time about two years ago and fell in love with them- they’re really expensive here though 🙁 This tart looks really really good!! I want a slice!

  70. Faith says:

    Ok, I need to confess — I am a total fig junkie. You are so lucky (and I am so jealous!) that you grew up with 2 fig trees in your backyard…hopefully Irene won’t have done any permanent damage! The tart really looks to die for, Joanne!

  71. Marisa says:

    I wish I had a fig tree I could thieve from… :-/ This looks fantastically yummy. And good to know about those sliver calories.

  72. Mo 'Betta says:

    I’ve never had a fresh fig! I must remedy this. (I used to love Fig Newtons, when I was, like, five – but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count!)

  73. Rai says:

    Wow, you take awesome pictures of food.
    I wonder if there is a market for that. Like, “Hey Fred, you know any good food photographers? I really need someone to take pictures of my food. To put in my wallet”

  74. You had me when you mentioned the franzipan and figs. I bet it’s ridiculous!

  75. Gloria says:

    Joanne I love figs and this tarta is amazaing! gloria

  76. What a beautiful tart, Joanne! Figs are one of my favorites, so I will definitely be saving this recipe for a rainy day!
    Ahhh, if only I could reach into my screen and grab a slice….


  77. That tart looks awesome. And I’m one of the deprived people who never had a fresh fig in her life . . . until one of my best friends got married and had a very fancy wedding with cheeses and figs hanging around the tables. I was amazed at what I’d been missing!

  78. BigAppleNosh says:

    I love figs – this looks amazing!

  79. WOW! Good show. MY parents moved to a house that had a fig tree in the back yard when I was in my late 20s and believe it or not, that was the first time I ever had a fig outside of something called a “newton.” That tart looks tremendous. I’m making a strawberry pie today, and if there are any leftover, I know what I’m gonna do (assuming I can track down some fresh figs – there are very few in the land of Hollywood high-rise apartments).



  80. I’d find it a little funny buying strawberries in September but it may just be worth it. This tart sounds (and looks) phenomenal.
    Were you parents finally convinced that chicken isn’t vegetarian? 😉

  81. I find that slivers most definitely do not count, especially on ones birthday. I’ve been slicing just slivers from a certain decadent cake all morning.

    I have never cooked, baked or so much as tasted a fig. Am I really missing out here? Our strawberries are still lovely though. How is that even possible? Shouldn’t they have disappeared by now?

  82. Nicole, RD says:

    Spoiled! I am so jealous of those with fig trees…even fig trees to steal from. Heck, I’m even jealous of those who can find them in the stores somewhat regularly…when they’re in season. This tart looks absolutely divine, Joanne!

  83. megcjones says:

    oh figs. so delicious. this tart looks just perfect for the end of summer 🙂

  84. Velva says:

    I grew-up with avocados and mango trees in my backyard. I had absolutely no appreciation for them…Now? I miss them terribly. I am fortunate to have a fig tree in my backyard living in North Florida. As soon as the figs ripen each year, I make two things fig jam and an appetizer of wrapping figs in proscuitto,, crumbling blue cheese and broiling them just for a couple of minutes…..Like candy.

    Great post.

  85. tigerfish says:

    How interesting are cultures! You grew up with fig trees? I never tasted fresh figs till I was past 30!!!!

  86. RJ says:

    aw I have a fig tree at home (san diego) too– but of course, it got to fruit bearing age AFTER I left for college/grad school. still, there really is nothing better than a fresh fig 🙂 I’ve met people here (in boston) that have never had a fresh fig before, only dried– it blows my mind!

  87. kankana says:

    I can already say how yum it would be! Nothing can meat fresh fig .. and that tart looks perfectly baked.

  88. Love everything about this tart Joanne- figs, hazelnuts & strawberries..simply creative & yum!

  89. Kimberley says:

    O fig and hazelnut, be mine! YUM.

  90. I can’t wait for our fig season to make this gorgeous tart.

  91. elly says:

    This looks so good it makes me want to cry.

  92. Figs are very hard to find here. I grew up with a fig tree in my yard too, and I remember going outside on a late summer evening and sitting right under it, gorging on the sticky sweet pink figs. This tart is gorgeous. If only I had the figs for it. Sigh.

  93. Elizabeth says:

    You know, strange as though it might be, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a fig that wasn’t in a newton or in a dish that also included proscuitto. I bet this was really delicious.

  94. Figs grow in New York? I had no idea.
    I love Martha’s Pies and Tarts book, and this recipe was definitely worth waiting for. Absolutely delicious.

  95. I am a sucker for anything with figs! This tart looks incredible! 🙂

  96. Chris says:

    Would you be horrified and unsubscribe from my blog if I admitted that I’ve never had a real fig before? I mean fig newtons are awesome but…well…yeah. I feel so ashamed.

    But at least I’m not a fig thief, lol.

  97. My neighbor at the house I first rented when I moved to Hawaii had a fig tree and my friend used to steal them for us. 😉 I feel slightly bad about that, but I don’t think the guy ever used them. This tart looks amazing–two of my favorite fruits in one place.

  98. grace says:

    i might turn to thievery if fresh figs were involved–i had my first taste of them recently and was quickly smitten! lovely tart, joanne. 🙂

  99. Yes, figs are a true delicacy… I wish they were more ripe up here, so I stopped trying too hard… but maybe I will see what Sunny’s has this week. 😉

  100. What a beautiful tart! And I love that the filling isn’t all fruit. That nut filling looks so good.

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