Store-bought puff pastry makes this fig tart recipe quick and easy. Ready from start to finish in about 20 minutes and individually sized, these tarts are perfect for sharing. A handful of fresh figs, a sheet of puff pastry and a bit of sweetened cream cheese come together to make a delicious and simple dessert.
Figs are a favorite of mine. From fig jam to panna cotta with bourbon-poached figs, you’ll find a few fig recipes here. Figs are just barely sweet, but when they are overly ripe can be jammy and have hints of honey.
Fig Puff Pastry Tarts
As we near the end of August, this is the time of year when summer produce is still available and fall fruits and vegetables are just starting to appear. It is the best of both worlds and for me, the best time for fruit.
If you’ve never had a fresh fig before, don’t expect them to taste like a certain cookie you may be familiar with. They taste nothing at all like a newton.
Fresh figs are just starting to make an appearance at the market and I have to grab them as soon as I see them.
I wanted to make a simple dessert, nothing too complicated or time-consuming. I looked through the fridge to see what I had on hand to make this come together; it wasn’t much.
Luckily, I had puff pastry stashed in the freezer and I had cream cheese. I figured if I sweetened it up the cream cheese just a touch, the finished product would be almost Danish-like.
I wanted to showcase the beauty of these figs, so I chose not to cut them too small, they were quartered and then nestled into that dollop of sweetened cream cheese before taking their turn in the oven.
The key with puff pastry is a hot oven. If you haven’t worked with puff pastry before, you will be delighted at how easy this is to tackle. The best part of this whole thing is that it looks like you spent hours toiling away like Cinderella when in fact, it was more like 15 minutes.
How to make puff pastry fig tarts
The first step is thawing the puff pastry. You’ll want it cool, so don’t let it get too warm.
It will be folded in thirds. Gently open it up, like a brochure, on a clean kitchen towel or lightly floured surface.
Then you will cut circles out of the dough and place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Next, you will lightly pierce the dough (without going all the way through), avoiding the edges. This is called “docking”.
Now you are ready to egg wash, fill the fig tarts and bake!
The most available brand of puff pastry is Pepperidge Farms, it is the one we are all familiar with. This is the brand I used in this recipe, as is it just fine.
However, if you can find Dufour puff pastry (I have found it at Whole Foods), it is a step above and you will notice the difference.
Pepperidge farms is made with oil and Dufour is all butter, that is the key difference in these two. It does cost just a bit more, not so much as to make you faint, but it is worth the little bit extra. Especially if it is for something special, like an “occasion” or holiday.
Fig tart recipe with puff pastry
Puff pastry desserts are the way to go when you need an impressive dessert, but you don’t have much time to get it done.
The crackle of the crispy shell gives way to a soft interior laden with fresh fruit. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Figs are only available for a short time, so I make these fruit puff pastry tarts with peaches, plums, nectarines, blueberries, etc. Whatever you have in the fridge can become a fruit tart with puff pastry.
On a few of my tarts, I put too much cream cheese in the center (like the one above) and it went a bit lopsided. Be forewarned, don’t overfill. It’s better to make an extra tart if you have a bit of cream cheese leftover.
Used in this fig tart recipe:
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• offset spatula – I find this tool makes it easier to spread the cream cheese, plus I use this all the time for spreading icing on cookies, cupcakes, cakes, etc.
• half size sheet pans – these are heavy-duty, commercial grade pans that won’t warp in a hot oven.
• round cutters – used to make perfect circles, I’ve had my set for over a dozen years. Useful for everything from cookies to biscuits.
• pastry brush – for brushing on jam in this recipe, egg washes, melted butter, cream glazes, etc.
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- 1 sheet puff pastry, cool, thawed
- 1 package, 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
- 1/4 cup apricot jam + 1 tsp water, warmed & "melted"
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 figs, quartered (or 6 - 8 halved if they are small)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Heat the oven to 425°F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, stir the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth and set aside.
- Unfold the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Using a 3" round cutter, cut circles out of dough.
- Using the tip of a paring knife, lightly pierce the dough several times in the middle. Be careful to avoid the edges and not to tear the dough.
- Brush the edges with the beaten egg, place 1 - 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture in the middle and nestle the figs in, cut side up.
- Brush the figs with the melted apricot jam and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool on baking sheet.
I used a 3" but if you prefer a larger tart, use a 4" cutter. You won't have as many tarts out of your dough.
Don't leave too much space between your circles when cutting out the dough! You want to get the most out of it, so cut RIGHT NEXT TO the edge, leaving as little waste as possible.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 119Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g
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