Fig season is one of my favorite times of the year, which is why I’m so excited to share this Vegan Fig Tart with Coconut-Cashew Cream with you!
I love fig season because figs are precious and elegant, like diamonds. Can you imagine if there was a diamond season? Ladiez would be going crazy. I mean, I would still be shopping for figs over diamonds, but I imagine a lot of other ladiez would be going crazy.
Anyhoo, I was searching Pinterest for fig-spiration (get it? I hope so, it was pretty obvious), and I came across this STUNNING fig tart from The Bojon Gourmet. Alanna is one of the most talented bloggers with a special gift for healthifying desserts, so I knew I wanted to make this gorgeous tart.
I have no doubt that Alanna’s original recipe is to-die-for because I have tried several of her recipes and they’re wonderful, but here is my spin on it if you’d like to try it out!
Why you’ll love this Fig Tart
Impressive and crowd pleasing. I shared this tart with friends and coworkers, and they devoured it in seconds. One of my friends asked me to send him the recipe so he could make it for his newly vegan girlfriend (SO CUTE).
Indulgent yet healthyish. My favorite type of dessert is one that tastes decadent but is actually healthy(ish). This recipe is naturally gluten-free and vegan, but it doesn’t sacrifice on flavor or texture, and no one will be able to guess that it’s vegan or gluten-free!
Texture magic. The buttery yet flaky and slightly crunchy crust pair so beautifully with the creamy, luscious filling, and then you add juicy figs into the mix…it’s truly a magical trio of textures!
Extremely beautiful. Figs are just so dang photogenic, and as you can tell from the below photo, the filling features alternating layers of cream filling and sliced figs, making for a beautiful layered look.
Ingredients and Tips for this Fig Tart
My favorite part of this dessert is the unique crust. It’s made from a trio of naturally gluten-free flours—almond flour, oat flour, and cornmeal. The result is a crumbly and slightly crunchy crust that’s so good you can eat it on its own. It’s like a cross between a flaky pie crust and a shortbread cookie, except imagine the shortbread cookie is part cornbread. Was that confusing at all?
The flours get mixed with some arrowroot powder, cold pieces of vegan butter, a bit of sugar, and vanilla and almond extract. While it’s not exactly traditional to add extracts to crusts, I love it because it makes for a very flavorful crust. And the addition of the vegan butter gives this crust a but of a flaky pie crust-feel.
And the crust is actually very easy to make, even if it sounds a little intimidating. You just need to mix the ingredients in a bowl and use an electric mixer on low speed for a couple minutes until the dough comes together.
Then press the dough into the tart pan—I used a rectangular 14”x4” tart pan, but you can easily use a 9-inch round tart pan. Since we’re using alternative gluten-free flours, it helps to freeze the crust for 20-30 minutes to help set it. Otherwise, it can get crumbly during baking.
After freezing the tart, we’ll pre-bake the crust before adding the filling, until it’s lightly golden.
While the tart crust is freezing and baking, prepare the coconut-cashew cream filling. It is rich and creamy and lends an irresistible textural contrast to the crust. It features soaked raw cashews AND coconut cream, so you know it’s going to be extra creamy!
For the coconut cream, you have two options. First, you can just buy canned coconut cream at many grocery stores these days, or at Asian supermarkets or online. Or, you can scoop out the white solidified cream from a can of full-fat coconut milk (you cannot use “lite” coconut milk).
For cans of full-fat coconut milk, I recommend lightly shaking the can. If it sounds very sloshy, the cream has been integrated with the liquid part, so you will need to refrigerate the can for at least 24 hours to get the cream to solidify. Some brands of coconut milk are better than others at having solidified coconut cream. I’ve had better results with Thai Kitchen brand instead of, for instance, the Whole Foods 365 brand. Or, you can purchase canned coconut cream.
The coconut-cashew cream gets lightly sweetened with agave nectar (though you could use maple syrup), flavored with cinnamon and ginger, and brightened up with some lemon juice and orange zest. The orange zest is really quite the standout ingredient here, and brings a delightfully unique pop of flavor, so don’t skip it!
The filling ingredients get blended in a food processor, so it’s very easy to make!
Once the tart crust has cooled, you’ll spread a layer of the coconut-cashew cream (about 1/3 of the cream) on top of the crust, followed by a layer of sliced figs. Pop that in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to help set the filling, then repeat the process twice more: a layer of cream, followed by sliced figs, then chill for 20 minutes, ending with a layer of figs. Finally, freeze the tart for at least 2 hours to fully set it.
The result, when you slice the tart, are beautiful alternating layers of cream and figs!
Substitutes for this Fig Tart with Coconut-Cashew Cream
Flours. I have not tried any other combination of flours than this one, but I suspect that you could use just oat flour and cornmeal, if you don’t have almond flour. I don’t recommend skipping the cornmeal because that’s where the beautiful slightly crunchy texture comes in!
Vegan Butter. I think the vegan butter adds a nice rich flavor to this crust and subtly evokes the taste of pie crust. That said, if you don’t like using vegan butter, you can try solid coconut oil (I recommend refined coconut oil so that you don’t get a strong coconutty taste).
Arrowroot Powder. If you don’t have arrowroot powder (which helps bring some structure to this crust), you can use cornstarch or tapioca flour/starch.
Almond Extract. I love the flavor combo of figs and the subtle notes of cherry from almond extract, but if you don’t typically keep almond extract at home, just substitute with more vanilla extract.
Coconut Cream. It’s an essential ingredient in this recipe, but if you are allergic to coconut, then you could just use more raw soaked cashews.
Agave Nectar. I use it here because of its neutral taste and more neutral color, but if you don’t mind a slightly more robust flavor and slightly darker color for the filling, feel free to use maple syrup.
Figs. Okay, so this is a fig tart…so it’s the best with figs. But, I know fig seasons are short, so if you can’t get your hands on figs, stone fruit like peaches, plums, or nectarines would make an excellent substitute!
If you give this Fig Tart with Coconut-Cashew Cream recipe a try, be sure to tag me on Instagram with your recreations and please comment with your feedback below!