Sometimes, we need very few words to explain. This may be one of those times.

Fig. Honey. Caramel.

I made the fig-raspberry tartlets again, with a few tweaks and in longform. While the tart was baking, I had fig and cardamon poaching liquid sitting in the pan, and a jar of blackbutt honey on the bench. The two came together, simmered, boiled, turned a deeper golden caramel, and fig-honey-caramel was born.

It was the essence of figs and honey. Drizzle the caramel on the sesame-almond tart pastry, drip it onto the tart filling. Watch the caramel form a Jackson Pollock-esque pattern on bits of pastry, before running into sticky, semi translucent pools on nestling fig.

Place the tart under the grill for a minute or so, until the caramel bubbles up. Drop a few sprigs of rosemary on top, so its woody savoury smell mingles with the honey overnight.

My slight obsession with figs continues.


Why figs?

Last week, I found myself wondering about the combination of sesame, almond and fig flavours. A search for recipes with these ingredients soon turned into a Alice down the rabbit hole style whirlwind trip.

It began with a Turkish snack of figs filled with sesame and almonds, then, a festive pan de higo made up of compressed, brandied figs, sesames and almonds, and a “cake” that saw honey, sesame, figs and almond scented with anise and rosemary and pressed into a dense, nutty-sweet terrine. I looked at their descriptions and wanted thin slices with blue cheese and jamon.

Then, the recipes became more exuberant. A Tunisian phyllo filled with sesame and almond and drenched in honey, a fried sesame-almond biscuit doused in more honey syrup, seseame and almond caramel apples, pear and black sesame cake, an almond pastry tart with black sesame brittle, paleo friendly crackers (of course). Sesame and almond also turned up in an asparague and cranberry tart, on grilled vegetables and in a cleansing brown rice ball.

I thought about making some or all of these.

Then, I poached dried figs and somehow we had fig-honey-caramel instead. Spread over sesame-almond pastry, the resulting tart didn’t need any explanation.

PS, the caramel has also been folded through ice cream for an instant fig-honey-caramel ice cream. I also think it would be great with yoghurt, dark chocolate sorbet, a caramel of few words.


For the basic elements of the first raspberry-fig tart, please see the earlier recipe here.

I don’t have a recipe for the fig-honey caramel yet. It was an improvisation, an accidental discovery. But be assured I will want to make this again, and measure the measurements, and time the times. In the meantime, poach some figs, stir some honey, and make some sticky-runny caramel of your own. Go on, you know you want to.

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28 thoughts on “Fig-honey-caramel

  1. Liz 27 August 2013 at 7:34 am Reply

    beautifully written 🙂 And how delicious that sauce must have been AND what fun to see the tart in a longer shape. Gorgeous and YOU are brilliant!

    • saucygander 27 August 2013 at 10:49 pm Reply

      Hey Liz, we loved the caramel, if only I measured so can recreate it. Oh well, maybe next time there will be a different & better caramel 😀

  2. Food and Forage Hebrides 27 August 2013 at 9:11 am Reply

    An elegant piece of improvisation with an irresistible ingredient combination. Jackson Pollock doesn’t have a look in! Blue cheese and jamon followed by your tart would be ideal. One can never eat too many figs 🙂 Thanks.

    • saucygander 27 August 2013 at 11:10 pm Reply

      One can never have too many figs. I think even Jackson Pollock would agree. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. lemongrovecakediaries 27 August 2013 at 10:47 am Reply

    Simply magnificent! Love the tart in the rectangle shape and the beautiful combination of flavours sounds divine.

    • saucygander 27 August 2013 at 11:12 pm Reply

      Thanks! The flavours became sort of Greek inspired when I threw in the rosemary… I just hope I can make the caramel again!

  4. johnnysenough hepburn 27 August 2013 at 11:32 am Reply

    Hmm, definitely curious about that caramel. I’ve only recently started to play with them. But I’ve never tried honey. Anyway, I’ve just bought my first of the season here figs earlier today! Oh, can’t wait. What to have them with??

    • saucygander 27 August 2013 at 11:20 pm Reply

      I am always tempted to eat fresh figs as they are, though that would make a boring blog. But, you take such beautiful photos, a post from you about fresh figs (with goat cheese? honey? jamon?) would not be boring at all.

      I think the honey helped to thicken the caramel, and probably reduced the amount of time needed to get to that sticky, coating back of spoon, stage of soft caramel. Will find out when I try this again, fingers crossed!

  5. Gather and Graze 27 August 2013 at 1:26 pm Reply

    What an incredibly versatile combination of flavours! Your tart looks wonderful and I love the idea of the ‘instant fig-honey-caramel ice-cream’ with any left-over caramel too!

    • saucygander 27 August 2013 at 11:22 pm Reply

      Thanks! I’m saving the ice cream idea for the next dinner party! 🙂

    • saucygander 27 August 2013 at 11:22 pm Reply

      Thanks! I’m saving the ice cream idea for the next dinner party! 🙂

  6. yummychunklet 27 August 2013 at 2:47 pm Reply

    Sounds delicious and I love the rosemary sprigs!

  7. Anne ~ Uni Homemaker 28 August 2013 at 5:01 pm Reply

    What a gorgeous looking tart. I love fig so I know I’ll love this! Absolutely beautiful and thanks for sharing!

    • saucygander 29 August 2013 at 9:10 pm Reply

      Figs are amazing aren’t they? 🙂

  8. Married in Marrickville 28 August 2013 at 8:14 pm Reply

    Beautiful story & great photos. Good idea with the honey & figs – looks very scrumptious!
    Love MIM xx

    • saucygander 29 August 2013 at 9:17 pm Reply

      Thanks, it was a happy improv-surprise! 🙂

  9. Ev 30 August 2013 at 9:33 am Reply

    That is absolutely stunning! Love the photography.

  10. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 1 September 2013 at 9:37 am Reply

    I’m very obsessed with fig too and this tart looks amazingly good! 😀

    • saucygander 1 September 2013 at 12:42 pm Reply

      Hi Lorraine, nice to see you around here, encouraging my fig obsession!

  11. Adam J. Holland 2 September 2013 at 10:58 am Reply

    Wow! I’m in love with that tart! Please. Please. Please post a recipe/technique soon!

    • saucygander 2 September 2013 at 4:41 pm Reply

      Sure, since you ask so nicely 🙂

  12. Jody and Ken 10 September 2013 at 12:02 am Reply

    Good lord that looks tasty. Post the recipe! Figs, honey, caramel–what could be bad? Ken

    • saucygander 11 September 2013 at 6:52 am Reply

      Um, there was a bit of improvising, so I don’t have a recipe for the tart yet! I will make it again soon, and measure what I put in, as there is another bag of dried figs begging for attention.

  13. The High Heel Gourmet 31 January 2014 at 1:14 pm Reply

    You know what, I’m in love with your rectangle tart tray. I think I might have to go buy one for myself!

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:26 pm Reply

      The tart tray is great, it makes everything look a little more fancy! 😀

      • The High Heel Gourmet 1 February 2014 at 5:13 pm

        And easy to store in the fridge, if there is any leftover.

        You tart is FANCY in its own!

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