This easier-to-make-than-it-looks Fig Frangipane Tart is a spectacular addition to holiday tables, but it’s also a delightful brunch-time or teatime treat.
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Every fall, I eagerly await the arrival of fresh figs at the market. It’s such a naturally gorgeous fruit—one of nature’s masterpieces, really.
Fresh figs can be expensive, but if you keep your eyes peeled for them, you can score boxes of 12 to 16 figs at a fairly reasonable price. This is when I stock up and make my yearly batch of Balsamic Fig Jam, one of my favorite condiments to serve with cheeses and charcuteries.
Although you can use fresh figs in lots of savory dishes, my favorite way to highlight their sweet, plump flesh is—unsurprisingly—in desserts. Often, I’ll simply drizzle quartered figs with maple syrup and roast them in a 400°F (200°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Roasted figs become super jammy and sweet and can then be used in so many ways: to garnish your morning granola or yogurt, over ice cream or gelato, as a topping for easy panna cotta, over crêpes, waffles, or cake—with a generous amount of additional maple syrup! I also like to use maple-roasted figs as a luxurious topping for financiers: it’s a delightful way to upgrade an otherwise super easy French dessert.
This year, I bought fresh figs on a whim (as I usually do in the fall), but I was super busy, so I just shoved them to the back of the fridge and forgot about them. When I found them again a week later, they were right on the verge of turning to waste. I needed to use them as soon as possible, but I was still in the weeds with work. I tried to think of an easy way to highlight them, and then at lunchtime, I whipped up a fig frangipane tart between two bites of sandwich.
This Honeyed Fig Frangipane Tart turned out even better than I expected. Frangipane tart is one of my go-to desserts for showcasing seasonal fruits because it’s so easy to pull together: you make a quick press-in crust, whisk together the frangipane filling, top it with fresh fruits, bake—and you’re done! Frangipane tart is one of those desserts that looks incredibly elegant but is foolproof to make.
On my first try, to make this Fig Frangipane Tart even faster, I skipped over the extra fig roasting step, opting to dip the quartered fresh figs into warm honey. This gave them extra sweetness and helped them become properly tender upon baking. I loved the floral flavor honey added to the tart.
The next time I made the tart—by then I knew this dessert was a winner, and so I wanted to make sure my recipe was perfect—I tried roasting the figs before adding them to the tart. The result was delicious, but the difference in flavor didn’t justify the extra step. Plus, because the figs were so soft, they disappeared into the frangipane as it puffed up. A big part of the pleasure of baking with figs comes from enjoying their beauty, I think. I decided simple was best.
This Honeyed Fig Frangipane Tart would look spectacular on any holiday table, but don’t confine it only to dessert. This tart is a delightful brunch-time treat and an exceptional addition to a teatime spread.
Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.
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