Ginger-Fig Tart With Cornmeal Crust

The silky smooth, pastry cream with a slightly spicy note from ginger pairs beautifully with fresh, late-summer figs or other juicy fall fruits such as sliced pears and persimmons. The cookie-like crust has a great nutty flavor and texture from the cornmeal. There are many ways to enjoy figs, and this easy fig tart is guaranteed to become one of your favorite fall desserts. Follow these Test Kitchen tips to ensure success: The custard comes together quickly so have the butter and sieve ready to go before you start cooking -you don't want to leave the custard in the hot pan for too long. Keep the plastic wrap as smooth as possible when you press it on the custard to avoid any wrinkle imprints. Don't over-process the crust because you want it to be as short and tender as possible – it's okay if it's still a little crumbly because it's a press-in crust. To get even edges, it helps to run a rolling pin over the top of the tart shell. Any excess crust can be used to patch the thinner areas.

Ginger-Fig Tart with Cornmeal Crust
Photo: Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
20 mins
Chill Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 20 mins


  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk, divided

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (from 1 [2-inch] piece)

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon unsalted butter

  • Cornmeal Crust

  • 8 ounces fresh figs, quartered (about 2 cups)


  1. Whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, and ¼ cup of the milk in a medium bowl until smooth.

  2. Stir together sugar, ginger, salt, and remaining 1 ¼ cups milk in a small saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot but not boiling, about 4 minutes. Slowly and gradually add milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly; return mixture to pan. Cook over medium, whisking constantly, until custard thickens and bubbles, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter.

  3. Pour custard mixture through a fine mesh strainer into cooled Cornmeal Crust; discard solids. Smooth custard top with a small offset spatula, and press plastic wrap directly onto surface to cover. Chill until set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, arrange figs on top of tart.

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