Beautiful mounds of purple and green jewels, piled up high in their punnet chests, was the scene that greeted me when I entered my local Whole Foods the other day. It literally took my breath away when I saw all those gorgeous figs cascading down the display.
I had, however, already bought my figs, made and devoured this tart but the figs have been gorgeous and plentiful this year. Most years I am lucky to get a glimpse let alone actually buy some. This year I’ve bought nice, big packages thanks to Costco.
Usually in our house, the figs are gobbled up fresh without any fuss. This time when I saw the purple hued gems at Costco, I knew I wanted to do something more with them.
A tart seemed the perfect vessel for these juicy morsels, but not just a plain tart, a cheesecake tart with a ginger snap crust (if you don’t like ginger snaps you can use graham crackers or shortbread for a milder cheesecake base)
To make life simpler for myself and also, to not overpower the figs with too much cheesecake-y goodness, I chose to do a simple no bake cheesecake as a base and have caramelised figs as the star topping.
The Cheesecake Tart with Caramelised Figs turned out really nice and light, with a subtle cheesecake flavour, intense caramelised figs and a buttery, sweet toffee sauce. You don’t need the toffee sauce, but the cheesecake is not very sweet so this adds some sweetness and an extra level of caramel flavour (and besides, who doesn’t love toffee sauce?)
It’s an easy dessert to make but needs time chilling for the no bake cheesecake to set. Of course, it doesn’t do well sitting out in a warm room so keep it chilled.
A no bake cheesecake tart topped with caramelised figs, a ginger cookie crust and a side of toffee sauce.
38 cookies or 229g ginger snap cookies
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons/57g butter, melted
6oz/175g cream cheese
4 tbs powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 cup /200mL, heavy cream
13-15 figs, sliced in half
4 tablespoons/57g butter
4 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup/118mL heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a food processor, break up the ginger snap cookies into fine crumbs.
Add the sugar.
Tip out into a bowl and add the melted butter.
Press into a 11"/28cm removable bottom tart pan.
Place in the fridge to chill and set, about 30 minutes.
While crust is setting, make the filling.
Wipe out the food processor bowl and add the cream cheese.
Pulse the processor to soften the cream cheese.
Add the lemon juice and the powdered sugar.
In a mixer bowl or using a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until soft but firm peaks form.
Fold the cream cheese mixture into the heavy cream.
Make sure all the cream cheese is mixed into the whipped cream.
Spread the mixture into the chilled and set cookie crust.
Spread the mixture evenly. smoothing out the top with a spatula or knife.
Place in the fridge to chill.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in an oven proof fry pan/skillet.
Add the brown sugar and allow it to melt.
Add the figs carefully, cut side up, arranging them in a single layer.
Sprinkle some brown sugar and cinnamon over the top of each one.
Turn on the oven broiler/grill and place the pan under the broiler to get some colour on the figs.
You want a little caramelisation but be careful not too burn the sugar and butter in the pan.
Once you see the sugar has melted on the figs and they have a little colour on them, remove from the oven.
Remove the figs carefully on to a plate, leaving the sauce behind in the pan.
Allow the figs to cool while you make the toffee sauce.
Bring the butter and brown sugar to a bubble, and then carefully add the heavy cream.
Whisk to smooth out the toffee sauce, allowing to thicken a bit.
If its too thick add a bit more cream, too thin; allow to simmer a bit longer.
Pour into a pitcher and set aside.
Once the figs are cool and the cheesecake has set, arrange the figs on the tart pouring the accumulated juices on top.
Serve with the toffee sauce on the side.
Refrigerate leftovers, you may need to heat up the toffee sauce a bit to get it pourable again.
If you don't like the ginger snap crust then you can use a milder cookie base, or a plain Digestive biscuit base. The ginger cookie crust does give a strong ginger flavour.
Hope you’re all having a great week. It’s almost back to routine here with sleeping schedules returning to normal, class schedules, books and back packs have come out of hibernation, and lunch requests are pouring in. I am looking forward to a peaceful house this week What are y’all up to?