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Fig and prosciutto tart

Sat, 7 October, 2023

Shop-bought puff pastry, a couple of slices of cured prosciutto ham and the ripest, most beautiful fresh Bursa figs. Autumn is the time to make this wonderful tart!

fig and prosciutto tart

What’s special about Bursa figs?

Bursa figs are one of the best things in September and October. Botanically classified as Ficus carica, they are in my view the absolutely best fig variety.

They are native to the Bursa Province in Turkey and are grown in a small region around Bursa, a city which is an hour and a half’s ferry journey across the bay from Istanbul. This region is a sun-soaked area of steep hills looking out onto the Sea of Marmara. No wonder fig trees love it there!

These figs are gorgeously large, honey-sweet in flavour with smooth and soft skin, their purple flesh peppered with crunchy seeds. They are jammy and fragrant, especially magnificent when contrasted with salty ingredients, blue cheese or Parma ham, or paired with similarly aromatic flavours like rosemary, honey or almonds.

The Bursa fig season is short and sweet, starting in September and going through to mid-October when they get squishily ripe and wonderfully cheap.

Bursa figs are picked by hand several times per season: fig trees generously churn out ripe fruit through the autumn. And they are organic to boot: no pesticides or herbicides are used in the orchards.

The demand for Bursa figs is booming. Exports have more than doubled in the last decade to around 15,000-16,000 tonnes this year, with Britain as a key market. Which is good, because when they turn up in the shops and market stalls, I just can’t get enough.

puff pastry tart with figs and ham

How to prepare figs?

The answer is: wash, trim and quarter. Raw figs are absolutely gorgeous and I pity those who are not aware of the fact. Tonnes of way to use them: add them to mixed salads, to enliven boring green leaves. Have figs with tomatoes, which is a pairing supreme. Eat them with any cured ham or ordinary cooked ham – more about it above and below.

My favourite way is to cut them into eights, drizzle with honey and top with cream cheese – it’s as great a dessert as it is a snack or brunch. Instead of cream cheese you can use Greek yoghurt, labneh, crème fraiche or their non-dairy equivalents.

Also, cook them. Baked figs with blue cheese, baked on their own like they do in Greece, figs turned into a condiment, jam or cake – and that’s all about fresh figs. I’d have to devote a separate story to dried figs.

And here’s another fig dish, and I can promise you’ll be making it again and again.

fig tart ingredients

Lunch in 5 minutes (ok, plus baking)

It takes five minutes to prepare, and about twenty to bake the completely delicious tart with fresh figs and prosciutto.

Ready-rolled puff pastry, as ever, is a time saver and a fabulous shortcut.

Just spread it on a sheet of parchment, the one it came wrapped into for instance. Though it’s a good idea to dust it lightly with flour just so the pastry doesn’t stick.

Then carve a line a centimetre off the edge, around all sides, to make a rim. Jab the whole pastry with a fork all over, apart from that rim, so it doesn’t puff up and eject the topping whilst baking.

Spread some cream cheese over the base, an extra precaution against sogginess, followed by slices of prosciutto – decent cheap supermarket kind will be fine.

preparing puff pastry

Scatter some thyme sprigs around – and put the pastry in the fridge for ten minutes or so while the oven heats up and you slice the figs.

Make sure to place a large baking tray in the preheating oven: placing the tart onto a hot tray will guarantee crispy bottom.

Slice the figs quite thin: I find an average Bursa yields four to five slices for this recipe.

sliced figs

When the pastry is cold and the oven hot, arrange the fig slices tightly over the ham, drizzle with honey and slip into the oven, onto the preheated tray, with the parchment is fine.

oven ready fig tart

It will take about twenty-five minutes for the pastry to brown and crispen and the figs to jammify beautifully. You’ll be raring to taste it but give it a little time to cool down: scalding hot fruit is not easy on the mouth.

baked fig tart


You can obviously skip the ham for a vegetarian version, or conversely double it up, for a meaty feast. If you don’t like cured ham, use good cooked ham.

Crumble some Stilton, Gorgonzola or Roquefort over the figs to boost the salty-sweet flavour combo. Shower the figs with grated Parmesan or pecorino, and I have a feeling crumbs of feta might work well there too, though I haven’t tried that option myself.

fresh fig and ham tart

How and when to serve fig tart?

All day, every day. Just joking, but it makes an excellent lunch, brunch or snack.

If you omit the ham, it will be a great dessert as well, especially if there’s a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream around.

In that last instance you don’t have to wait till the tart cools down, but it will be tricky to cut.

figs on puff pastry

More fig recipes

Baked figs with blue cheese, a drop of honey and a drizzle of balsamic can be a gorgeous starter, side dish, lunch or even a healthy dessert.

Fresh fig confit recipe: confiture made with fresh figs, with whole chunks of figs in syrup made with port or madeira wine. This fig confit is more versatile than jam and can be served with cheese and meats.

Tomato and fig salad with crumbled blue cheese and balsamic dressing. Sweet figs, ripe tomatoes with a salty tang of blue cheese make up an incredible burst of flavours.

More puff pastry recipes

Crunchy puff pastry bites sprinkled with cinnamon sugar – an irresistible way of using puff pastry offcuts.

Burger wellingtons with mushrooms and shallots wrapped in puff pastry, an easy version of beef Wellington. It’s a fancy dish for dummies, it’s your Valentine’s Day dinner this year.

Mini party rolls, filled with chipolata sausages or ham and cheese filling. They are easy to prepare and invariably the biggest hit with party people.

fresh fig and cured ham tart

Fig and prosciutto tart

Servings: 4Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry, 23 x 23cm (9x9 inch)
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • 3-4 slices prosciutto
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 5-6 figs, preferably Bursa
  • 1 tsp honey
  • beaten egg, to brush the pastry


1. Have the pastry at room temperature for half an hour to make it pliable. Spread it on parchment, it can be the parchment it was wrapped in.

2. Score an edge with a knife around the pastry sheet, about 1cm from the edge. Prick it all over with a fork.

3. Spread the cream cheese over the base. Arrange the prosciutto slices to cover the base and scatter thyme sprigs. Place the pastry in the fridge for 10 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 220C/450F/gas 7 with a large baking tray on a middle rack.

5. Trim the figs and slice them vertically into ½ cm/ ¼ inch slices, 4 from each fruit on average.

6. Arrange the fig slices over the chilled pastry, brush the edge with beaten egg and drizzle the figs with honey. Transfer the tart with the parchment onto the preheated tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and brown around the edges and the figs are roasted.

7. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Cut into portions with a pizza cutter.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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