Did you know that figs are actually inside out flowers?! Mind- blown! All common fig varieties are actually female and need no pollination, therefore it makes sense for the seeds to be protected inside the fruit. I’m tempted to spell out the euphemism here, but I’ll keep it to myself.
Figs have for centuries been a symbol of fertility and youth. In Roman times it was believed that figs were essential to keeping young and they were used to maintain health and vitality in the elderly. Fresh figs are a fantastic source of many vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C, niacin, folate and potassium. They are also a great source of fibre. Dried figs are a good source of calcium and iron (1/2 cup contains approximately 150mg of calcium or 15% of the daily requirement and 1.5mg of iron or 19% of the daily requirement). Since figs are already so high in sugar, be mindful of your intake and always balance with fat and protein content.
Here we have added fresh figs to a wonderfully sweet and decadent cashew cream tart. We hope you enjoy this as much as we do :)
Baked Fig + Cashew Cream Tart
- 10 ripe fresh figs, cut in half lengthways
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 8 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts, toasted in medium oven until fragrant
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 5 + hours (overnight if possible)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 teaspoons agave syrup
- 1/4 cup water (you may not need all of this)
For the topping
Place figs cut side up on a baking tray in one layer. Scatter coconut sugar over the figs. Bake in a moderate oven for 15-20 minutes, until lovely and golden. Set aside to cool and move on to the base.
For the base
In a blender (we used a stick blender with bowl attachment), blend the almonds to almond meal consistency. Set aside. Then blend the chopped dates to a paste consistency. Place the ground almonds, desiccated coconut and oil in the processor with the dates and combine. The crust will be good if it holds together when you squeeze it in your palm. If it crumbles a lot, add more oil and/or dates. Press the base into a loose based tin (we used a 30cm x 10cm long tart tin). Pop in the fridge while making the filling.
For the filling
Place the toasted hazelnuts in the blender and process until smooth. Add the cashews, lemon, vanilla and agave and process, slowly adding the water until you get a thick and creamy consistency. This will take some time, you will need to scrape down the sides of the blender and re-blend a few times. Be careful not to add too much water.
With a spatula, smooth the cashew cream into the base. Then place the baked figs on top and drizzle over the fig & coconut sugar that has melted in the tin while baking. Voila!