Skip to main content

Ginger Fig Streusel Tarts With Honey Lavender Ice Cream


Thank you guys for toasting Barbara with us in my last post. I know it meant a lot to her and it did to me. (And yes, those were my feet!). It’s been a tough journey for her and I often told Bill I’d give my last shirt to get on a plane and try to be of some help (laundry, groceries, you know the drill), crack up some stupid joke or just hold someone’s hand. He understands. He also adds that he doesn’t like when I travel, saying that I always prepare some good dinners for him to eat while I am gone, I rarely leave dessert. Wrong. Cookies, I always make cookies.

This past weekend however, when I went to Veronica’s in Virginia to teach what we now call a Pastry Bootcamp (a nice one), leaving four of these Ginger Fig Streusel Tarts with some Lavender Honey Ice Cream. He ate the coffee-chicory macarons. Go figure. He actually did it (unknowingly) right as we had plenty of the tarts to celebrate our 11th anniversary. Still feels like we are within the first 5 years. Very much loving having such a fantastic partner. Very much digging this whole marriage thing. Very much looking forward to the next 11 by his side.

Teaching Veronica was great fun and even if there was a lot of information shared in a short amount of time, she knows that the pastry course comes with a lifetime warranty and free upgrade to the baking 101 hotline! I am very glad to have a couple tarts left still as it makes catching up with laundry a whole lot easier. Not to mention getting caught up with work a whole lot sweeter!! How can one’s inbox get so full in 4 days away?! Even the puppies seem to have grown!

Figs and Lavender

The tarts were inspired from the last dessert we had in Asheville a few weeks ago before getting on the plane. The original was an apricot ginger tart served with a scoop of honey lavender ice cream. I changed it around a bit as apricots here are not fully seasonal and a bit on the bland side and a friend had just dropped figs from her tree. I love figs…It’s a childhood thing. It’s a childhood story actually but I’d need another three paragraphs so I’ll wait for that one!

I could wax poetic about figs for hours (no surprise there) but let’s get to the essentials. The crust is a simple pate sablee with a little vanilla bean seed for extra flavor. I know vanilla beans are not cheap and I am lucky to get supplied by my mother but I have to tell you that even 1/4 bean makes a huge difference in a recipe. When it comes to figs, I like them grilled, roasted or fresh so I pretty much left them as they were and layered them with some streusel spiked with crystallized ginger, added a drizzle of honey and hop! in the oven they went. The honey ice cream is just the perfect hint of sweetness and bonus flavor to bring the tarts together. As Bill put it: it’s Provence in a tart!

Before I leave you with the recipe, I just want to thank my friends Todd and Diane from White On Rice Couple for kicking off their new feature series, Portrait of A Gourmand by starting with me. I am honored. Gourmande I am that’s for sure!


One year ago: Berries and Cream for Bastille Day.

Ginger Fig Streusel Tarts With Lavender Honey Ice Cream:

Makes four 3-inch tarts

For the lavender honey ice cream:
1/2 cup (125ml) lavender honey
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk
1 1/2 cups (375ml) heavy cream

For the pate sablee:
2 tablespoons (20gr) slivered almonds
1/2 (60gr) cup powdered sugar, unsifted, divided
1/2 stick (56.5gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 vanilla bean, seeded
pinch of salt
3/4 cup (90gr) all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk

For the filling:

2 oz (60gr) all purpose flour
2 oz (60gr) sugar
2 oz (60gr) very cold butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
12 fresh figs, quartered
4 tablespoons lavender honey (or the one you prefer)

Prepare the ice cream:
In a large bowl, beat the honey and egg yolks until light in color. Heat the milk and cream to a bare boil in a large heavy saucepan. Pour the mixture over the eggs and return the mixture to the saucepan and gently heat (do not boil) until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions

Prepare the pate sablee:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place almonds and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, vanilla bean seeds, ground nuts and salt on medium speed until well-combined. Slowly add remaining powdered sugar and flour and mix well. Add the egg yolk and mix until incorporated. Shape dough into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Place the dough in between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll it out to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out four 5- inch rounds and fit them inside four 3- inch tartlet molds, patting the dough in with your fingertips if it breaks on you as you transfer the rounds. Gather the scraps and set aside.
Prick the dough with a fork and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place a piece of parchment paper inside the tart shells, fill with beans or pie weights. Bake the shells for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Keep the oven running at 350F.

Prepare the filling:
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and sugar. Add the butter and ginger and quickly mix with your fingertips until you get pea sized pieces. Layer 3/4 of the streusel at the bottom of each tart shell. Divide and arrange the quartered figs evenly on top and top with the remaining streusel. Drizzle with the honey and bake an additional 20 minutes or until the streusel is baked and the figs are slightly roasted. Serve with the ice cream.

Related Posts

Similar Articles


Maria July 14, 2009 um 3:28 pm

I love Veronica. Glad you had a nice time. Lovely tarts and ice cream!

Sunshine July 14, 2009 um 3:39 pm

Oh my! These look lovely!

Jen Yu July 14, 2009 um 3:44 pm

You are so funny. My mailbox blew up this weekend too (does it seem like people just email MORE when you're out of town?). I am so jealous of V's boot camp! You think we could commandeer a professional kitchen in SF and bake together? 😉 Kidding – I'd rather dance around tossing saffron in the air with you! a ha ha ha! You always make desserts into something more than just desserts – they are works of art, a present, a treat – special. xxoo

Baked Alaska July 14, 2009 um 3:45 pm

Can't wait to make this. I will be making it this week, as I have figs on my counter which were waiting to be made into a tart. I LOVE honey lavendar ice cream, so what a great combination this will make. Thanks for the recipe.

maia @ sac à poche July 14, 2009 um 4:14 pm

They look fabulous !!
I never tried honey – lavander ice cream!
I must try!

maia @ sac à poche July 14, 2009 um 4:17 pm

they look fabulous!!!
I never tried before honey lavander ice cream ….I must try!

Valérie July 14, 2009 um 4:29 pm

Happy anniversary! The tarts look fantastic! I also have a love of fresh figs, and this is a wonderful way of using them!

Cannelle Et Vanille July 14, 2009 um 5:05 pm

so great to read you had a great trip. the tarts took and sound delicious! i can't wait until we start getting some good figs too!

Dodie @AshevilleTravel July 14, 2009 um 5:09 pm

That looks fantastic — so glad the lavender, honey and dessert at Biltmore were inspiring! I discovered recently that I love fresh figs (always had them dried or incorporated into a dish). Fresh is the best! Now, if only I had an ice cream maker…

Anonymous July 14, 2009 um 5:13 pm

I can't believe how many wonderful things you come up with.

Engineer Baker July 14, 2009 um 5:15 pm

I'm so jealous of V's pastry boot camp – it sounds like so much fun! And now that I've finally tried fresh figs (just last weekend!) this sounds even more amazing.

Rosa's Yummy Yums July 14, 2009 um 5:26 pm

What a beautiful dessert! A perfect flavor combo! Terrific presentation too!



anna July 14, 2009 um 5:50 pm

That is the height of deliciousness!

La Cuisine d'Helene July 14, 2009 um 6:08 pm

Congratulations for being featured on White on Rice Couple blog. That was really interesting to read. Beautiful dessert!

veron July 14, 2009 um 6:31 pm

Ha..ha..if those fig tarts were left here that would be the first thing the hungry hubby would eat! Love your picture and write up on Todd and Dianne's site. Our pastry bootcamp was fantastic…you should make it a regular offering. Will post about it soon.

Lori July 14, 2009 um 6:46 pm

You are always inspiring me with these tastey combinations. I was so intrigued by your cherry pit shakes that I visited eggbeater, read her post, researched… and I just made apricot jam with the kernels (AMAZING) and I am right now steeping some cream and milk with cherry pits. I will let you know how it goes.

oneordinaryday July 14, 2009 um 7:14 pm

These look really beautiful. You did such a nice job with them!

Y July 14, 2009 um 8:47 pm

Amazing photos! I definitely need more things like lavender honey ice-cream in my life, yes I do.

Julia @Mélanger July 14, 2009 um 9:40 pm

Pastry bootcamp? My eyes just lit up in anticipation. I think you must come to Australia! 🙂 Happy anniversary by the way. 11 years, hun? Great when you still feel like it's just yesterday…..

Unknown July 14, 2009 um 9:43 pm

This is just the ginger inspired yumminess I've been searching for. Delicious! -e

Char July 14, 2009 um 9:58 pm

I adore figs – I must go find some

Vanille July 14, 2009 um 10:13 pm

Ces saveurs du Sud sont irrésistibles !
Et les portraits de toi très réussis !

savor July 14, 2009 um 11:56 pm

So beautiful! Lavender is a favorite addition to desserts. (I love lavender flan)

Excellent idea!

Abby July 15, 2009 um 2:10 am

The portrait is great! I love the photos of you. You're definitely one of the best food stylists I've ever seen. And your talent astounds!

jillian July 15, 2009 um 3:34 am

These look heavenly! I am a little obsessed with figs, and good ones are scarce in my area.

Anonymous July 15, 2009 um 3:59 am

J'adore le 'look' de tes tartes. Elles sont tres adorable tout comme toi. Mr B. a beaucoup de chance. Enormement meme! 🙂

Et puis le profile sur White on Rice est tres chouette aussi. Tu est une vrai star! 🙂

Alexandra July 15, 2009 um 4:20 am

Gorgeous! I am in love with the photo of a bowl of figs accompanied by a sprig of lavender! You have quite the eye, magpie 😉

petite nyonya July 15, 2009 um 6:36 am

Glad that I stumbled upon your blog! All of your pastry creations are inspiring and lovely!

leaca July 15, 2009 um 7:52 am

figs take me back to my childhood when I would roam my grandparents ranch and we would eat figs off of the tree. Yum.

♥peachkins♥ July 15, 2009 um 11:33 am

lovely photos! I haven't seen figs in person and I don't know how it tastes so I'm really curious but it looks yummy!

Inne July 15, 2009 um 11:34 am

Lovely looking tartelettes Helen! And congrats on your 11 years together! Time really does fly, doesn't it? (Stefan and I are celebrating 13 years together in a few months). So sorry to read about your miscarriages – if you ever make it to London there's a big hug and cuddle waiting for you from me and Elsa.

Inne x

Anonymous July 15, 2009 um 1:53 pm

Outstanding once again! Love figs! Your first picture makes me think of a painting. Beautiful and full of life!


foodcreate July 15, 2009 um 2:24 pm

Ice Cream and Trat Looks so Lovely and Tasty !!!
Thanks for sharing your recipes:)

Sign Up For Our Newsletter> Post your comments 🙂

Have a wonderful Day !

elly July 15, 2009 um 2:28 pm

These look out of this world. I love every ingredient in them. Delicious!

Happy anniversary!

MyKitchenInHalfCups July 15, 2009 um 3:30 pm

Gourmande and so much more Helen.
Again your first photo … it is truly art.
I'll be dreaming of eating one of these tarts tonight.

simply hue July 15, 2009 um 4:25 pm

Oh, wow, what beautiful photos! My hasband loves figs so maybe I'll give this recipe a shot. 😉

RhodeyGirl/Sabrina July 15, 2009 um 4:52 pm

oh these look so special!

sarah July 15, 2009 um 5:51 pm

These look mouth-watering! I'm a newlywed and hope I'm saying in 11 years what you are saying now 🙂

FashionLagniappe July 15, 2009 um 8:55 pm

I LOVE and am a HUGE fan of your blog! Hope you can take the time to check out my site!

We sell Vintage and Designer clothes, shoes, and accessories all in one place. We have some really great things up right now! Studded boots, Alexander Wang halter top, and vintage blazers. Check it out! July 15, 2009 um 10:02 pm

Lovely !!! Beautiful and Delicious presentation:)

Thanks for sharing your recipe!

Sign Up for our Newsletter ! Join Cents.Off Coupons

Thank You!Have a wonderful day

Andreaas July 16, 2009 um 5:50 am

That's what I love about your posts: they are never me-me-me, always innovative and full of sentiments. This one is exactly that. You are one awesome lady! I envy Veronica for having you teach her all those yummy things!

Simones Kitchen July 16, 2009 um 7:10 am

Happy anniversary and many more lovely years together! Time flies doesn't it?

ChichaJo July 16, 2009 um 1:42 pm

I loved reading Veron's account of your pastry bootcamp…what a fantastic time!

These fog tarts look amazing – we don't grow, nor do we really import, fresh figs here so I only ever saw and tasted a fresh fig on my honeymoon in Spain 3 years ago! It was love at first bite 🙂

Griottes July 16, 2009 um 3:29 pm

Just amazing !!!
Your blog are so great….It's unbelievable 🙂

Anonymous July 16, 2009 um 3:44 pm

You never cease to come up with the most delightful combinations!
What kind of figs did you use for the tarts?

Barbara July 16, 2009 um 6:00 pm

How absolutely gorgeous! I feel like you do about figs- any way any time. You have a great talent- I am always so impressed!

Helene July 16, 2009 um 7:23 pm

Julia: would love to be able to do this all over the world. Bill said it was ok as long as there were cookies around for the few days I am gone!!
It was hard work but very fun! It's easy to teach people who have the same passion!

Claude July 16, 2009 um 7:30 pm

Cette photo des figues et de la lavande…superbe! Ca me rappelle la terrasse de mon oncle et ma tante dans le Vars. Ca fait bien longtemps mais on oubli jamais. Comme toujours, ta facon d'ecrire me transporte dans un monde de reve et de nostalgie bien a part. Merci!

Nutmeg Nanny July 16, 2009 um 8:05 pm

Wow it's so beautiful. It's amazing how much food can look like a piece of art.

Katie July 16, 2009 um 8:34 pm

Such gorgeous and fresh looking figs. The tarts sound wonderful, especially with the hint of ginger.

Katie July 16, 2009 um 8:34 pm

Such gorgeous and fresh looking figs. The tarts sound wonderful, especially with the hint of ginger.

matt wright July 16, 2009 um 11:30 pm

Lovely stuff. Figs are just wonderful, and I love what you have done with them here.

Really liked T+Ds write up on you – so well written, and lovely photos.

Jackie at July 16, 2009 um 11:54 pm

I'm in awe. It looks like it comes straight out of a magazine cover. BeautifuL!

Helene July 17, 2009 um 12:43 am

Anonymous: these were Brown Turkey figs. They are a bit nicer looking than Black Mission and just as tasty!

Matt: aww…thank you! We are big fan of yours at our house.

A Bikini Diary July 17, 2009 um 3:43 am

I LOVE figs and ginger and lavender! ha! what a wonderful combination!! So beautiful!!

Poorni Pillai July 17, 2009 um 9:30 am

There was a time that I didnt like figs but they slowly won me over. I've never had a dessert with figs in it and I'm curious as to how they taste…this looks lovely 🙂

Unknown July 17, 2009 um 9:40 am

Oh Helen, what a wonderful write up of you…and you look as warm and sweet as I had imagined and the love for food is so there in your smile 🙂 … You have a beautiful smile, all I keep wondering is how do you keep yourself so fit and in shape. If you ever get a chance please do share that with us.
I can't tell you how excited I am for your book….

Rob July 17, 2009 um 9:38 pm

You do make the prettiest tarts out there! Lucky husband and lucky neighbors! Miss hanging out with the gang! That feature on White on Rice Couple was absolutely fantastic! Lucky Bill for meeting you first…because we all know you would have fallen head over heels for me if you had met me first 🙂
Love you both tremendously!

Anonymous July 17, 2009 um 10:45 pm

Congratulations on 11 years of marriage! With all the breakups and divorces in this world, this is no small achievement. But, we should not be surprised since you and Bill seem to have such a great and loving relationship.
The tarts ain't bad either, eheheh!


Karine July 18, 2009 um 2:27 am

I love your pics and I love your recipe! 🙂

Helene July 18, 2009 um 2:50 am

SH: I believe that except for love, moderation is key with food. To tell you the truth after baking sweets all day, I just want a spoonful and move on to the cheese plate!
I also have two very active dogs that require a lot of walks and we do have two flights of stairs. Oh and I teach Pilates!! So you can see, all that combined and it's pretty easy to keep active!

Wendy July 18, 2009 um 4:16 am

Congratulations on your anniversary! The tarts are beautiful and I bet very tasty!

sarah July 18, 2009 um 5:57 pm

Your photos are wow! so great. I will be coming back to read more. Lavender and honey ice cream?.. How can it get better?

Dana aka Gluten Free In Cleveland July 18, 2009 um 6:48 pm

Those are absolutely beautiful photos – and figs, honey, and lavender? perfect, perfect pairings.

I love it!

nutritiontokitchen July 19, 2009 um 12:36 am

Your flavor combinations are always so intriguing and lovely! Everything looks beautiful!

tara July 19, 2009 um 1:50 pm

Your husband totally deserved cupcakes after that behavior with the lemons – such care! Too cute.

Sacha July 25, 2009 um 8:14 am

I discovered with great pleasure your blog and your recipes your last recipe is very tempting thank you
Good weekend
A + + Sacha

ワンピース December 13, 2010 um 6:42 am


Visagederma April 17, 2012 um 4:01 am

Looks so Deliciouss! yumm

Write a Comment