Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Fig Custard Tart

Last weekend I went to borough Market in London. For those of you that are unacquainted with this market basically it's heaven on earth for a food lover. Honestly I wandered around in a slight daze for the first hour, before slightly coming round to enjoy a cup of fine coffee and fresh oysters for breakfast while deciding what I wanted to buy from this wonderful place. One of the stalls had a pyramid of fresh fat figs for a reasonable price of 5 for £2. Most of what I bought got eaten as they were but I saved a few to add to this tart...yes its another tart, honestly I'll cook something different eventually....maybe...erm...

Anyway, custard tart. One of my all time favourites, I've been eating this since time began. Once for a birthday instead of a cake I requested a custard tart a lemon meringue pie and a batch of mince pies (my birthday is in May) so I thought I would make one with the addition of figs to see how it would work together.

210g Plain flour
35g icing sugar
125g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tsp of water
1 egg white (to brush the cooked case)

70g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
150ml cream
150ml whole milk
Vanilla pod and seeds or use 1 tsp extract
As many figs as you like, halved and trimmed to just below the pastry line.

Mix the flour and sugar together, add the butter.
Rub the butter into the flour gently between your fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the yolk and water and mix together.
Using you hands bring together the mix into a dough ball, don't overwork.
Wrap tightly in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30mins to an hour.

Get two sheets of cling film, spread one across the work surface, place the dough in the middle and spread the other sheet over the top.
Roll out gently in between the two sheets of cling film (this method stops any excess flour being added to the pastry and drying it out).
Remove the top layer and using the bottom layer drape the pastry into a 26cm fluted tart tin.
Press gently into the tart tin and using a rolling pin roll across the top to trim off the edges.
Push the edges up a couple of millimetres to compensate for shrinkage.

Gently press a layer of foil into the tin and fill with baking beans.
Bake in a preheated oven (180C, fan) for 15 minutes.
Remove the foil and beans and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown
Remove from oven and brush with egg white to create a waterproof layer.
Turn the oven down to 130C (fan)

Prepare the figs, trim off the tips and slice in half and trim until it's just below the pastry line. Arrange in the pastry case as you like.
Whisk the sugar with the eggs
Bring to the boil the cream, milk and vanilla in a saucepan.
Add to the eggs whilst whisking constantly.
Sieve into a jug

Pour into the pastry case around the figs and grate over some nutmeg.
Place very carefully into the oven and bake for around 40 minutes until the filling gives only a slight tremor when shook.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.


Very nice. Lovely crisp pastry with soft sweet custard complemented with juicy baked fig, can't go wrong.



  1. Oh Gary, what a tart!!! Those figs look sublime. I adore the smell of figs so I can totally see why you were tempted by them. Last time I went to borough I left in a cheese induced coma!

  2. I love Borough Market. I cannot wait to visit the market again in few weeks time when I'm in London. Beautiful tart Gary. I've always wanted to try making custard tart.

  3. This looks great. I love custard tarts. I also like your approach to birthdays. Might try asking for three pies next time mine comes around and see where it gets me!