Fig and Blue Cheese Tart with Honey, Balsamic, and Rosemary

October  9, 2013

When she has the kitchen all to herself, Phyllis Grant of Dash and Bella cooks beautiful iterations of what solo meals were always meant to be: exactly what you want, when and where you want them.

Today: Make this tart for dinner tonight with late season figs. Make it again tomorrow. 

Fig Tart on Food52

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Yes, love.

What’s for dinner?

A fig and blue cheese tart.


He drops to the kitchen floor, pounds his fists, flip flop flails his 6-year-olds legs. I armpit-drag him up. There are real tears sliding down his face. He looks me in the eye and throws down the gauntlet.

If you don’t stop making tarts, I’ll run away.

Dash, I’m never ever going to stop making tarts.

He sulks off to the living room to practice his en garde-attack-riposte.

I lure him back into the kitchen with Pirate’s Booty and Mango Tango. He cuts a few figs. I grab some cinnamon sugar. He crumbles the blue cheese. I wordlessly slide over a pile of puff pastry scraps. He mushes and twists and pours and sprinkles and announces tada mama I’ve made a cinnamon sugar honey pie not a tart but a pie because it’s folded over you see. We bake it up alongside my fig tart.

I stay away from his pie.

He stays away from my tart. 

Fig Tart on Food52

Things to know before you start baking:

You can use any kind of figs. I love Kadota because of their color, flavor, and the fact that they’re a bit less sweet. The figs can be firm or soft or a combination of both. Let go. It’s okay for this tart to be a bit of a mess. You can skip the cheese. Or add pine nuts. Maybe drape pancetta or prosciutto over the figs. I strongly advise that you serve this tart with a crisp green salad drenched in a powerful vinaigrette.

You can make classic puff pastry (and, omfg, you are my hero if you do!). Or you can do Ashley Rodriguez’s Shortcut to Puff Pastry (and you’re still my hero). Or you can do what I did and head to the freezer section of your local grocery story and buy puff pastry. Pepperidge Farms is great. Dufour is my favorite (it’s a bit pricey but hella worth the splurge).

There’s no need to spend a lot of money on fancy balsamic, but you should avoid using thin vinegar as it will make the pastry soggy. I make mine thick by reducing down a bottle of inexpensive balsamic (just boil until half is gone). Another option for this recipe is to use Alice Medrich’s Honey Balsamic Sauce (in other words, combine your vinegar and honey into one easy drizzle). 

Fig Tart on Food52 

Fig and Blue Cheese Tart with Honey, Balsamic, and Rosemary

Serves 4

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed but still cool
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 pound figs
1 teaspoon salt (I used grey)
1 tablespoon thick balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons honey (the darker and more flavorful the better)
1/3 cup firm blue cheese, crumbled (I used Wisconsin, but go more intense if you like) 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Phyllis Grant

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • gfgal
  • beth young
    beth young
  • JCCraves
  • EmilyC
  • Katie Sullivan Morford
    Katie Sullivan Morford
Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.


gfgal January 15, 2014
love this recipe! do you think i could freeze the tart after cooking it and defrost and reheat a few days later?
Phyllis G. January 15, 2014
absolutely. i have one in my freezer now. once cooked, paint each fig with a bit of oil. just to brighten it up. garnish with chopped parsley. sometimes it can get a little messed up in the freezer. but flavor will be great.
beth Y. October 9, 2013
So pretty! Please don't ever stop making tarts!
Phyllis G. October 10, 2013
thanks, beth! i never ever ever will.
JCCraves October 9, 2013
One of the great tragedies of developing dairy allergy - no fruit and cheese combos ever again. What could I use to achieve that sharp, funk to offset the figs here? Or diff direction? Prosciutto and carmelized onions?
Kenzi W. October 9, 2013
Definitely, definitely try prosciutto. That's the route I'm going to go! We can compare notes.
Phyllis G. October 10, 2013
i've made this tart with prosciutto. it's so yummy. try this. wrap the halved figs in prosciutto or bacon. broil until nice and crispy (cooks really fast). spread caramelized onions over bottom of uncooked shell. press prosciutto-wrapped figs into the bed of onions. drizzle with balsamic, honey, rosemary oil. bake the same way.
Kenzi W. October 10, 2013
oh lord.
EmilyC October 9, 2013
Love this.
Katie S. October 9, 2013
I always make my own pie down, but consider puff pastry from the freezer section one of the minor miracles of modern convenience foods. Another gorgeous recipe.
Phyllis G. October 10, 2013
i agree, katie. frozen puff pastry is such a gift. i've never bought frozen pie/tart dough. i wonder if there are some good ones out there.
Marian B. October 9, 2013
I want to make this with my mom.
Phyllis G. October 10, 2013
that makes me cry
Kristen M. October 9, 2013
Dash, I don't know what kind of human turns down tart. Especially this tart.
Kenzi W. October 9, 2013
I will second this.
Phyllis G. October 10, 2013
the thing i'm learning about kids is that can get sick of anything. they won't touch a lot of the ice cream i'm making too!
Valerie October 9, 2013
I made something very similar recently, using Roquefort and adding caramelized onions. There is something magical about the fig and blue cheese combination, they way they've run together and mellowed in the oven. Next time I'll have to try adding rosemary and honey!
Phyllis G. October 10, 2013
yes. i agree about that magic. you don't even need the puff pastry. i just threw together my remaining blue cheese and figs and broiled them on up. going to smear the mess on bread for lunch.