Here’s Megan May’s recipe for Fresh Fig & Sticky Ginger Cashew Cream Tart. World famous at Little Bird and The Unbakery
Serves 12 | Equipment required: food processor, blender
This is a classic cashew cream-based raw dessert, topped with fresh figs and a sticky ginger syrup, serve it as a plated dessert or slice them smaller for an elegant dessert canapé.
Fresh figs are abundant right now and not for long so I try and make the most of having these delicious and incredibly nutritious fruits available by putting them in salads, pizzas, desserts, smoothies and eating them simple as they are. I’ll grab one for the ride to work as I’m leaving the house (not the most mindful eating, but it makes the drive delicious).
Ginger and fig is a classic combination that is hard to go wrong with when it comes to desserts, the ginger syrup recipe here is really delicious. We make it in a dehydrator as an overnight reduction but also simmer it on the stove, when time avails us.
With the base you can use other nuts, we always make our bases with activated and dried nuts (which you can buy in-store, if you don’t want to make your own) but you can also use other nuts or seeds… even a few oats. The other nuts I would substitute with that don’t need to be activated would be brazil nuts, macadamias and cashews. It will affect the texture slightly but not too much.
Feel free to substitute the figs for other fruits if you don’t have access or they aren’t in season.
1 ½ cups dried activated almonds or brazil nuts
¾ cup dried coconut (ground into a flour in your food processor)
1 1/2 cups pitted dates
¼ tsp sea salt
1½ tbsp dried ginger powder
2 tbsp melted cold-pressed coconut oil
Cashew cream filling
2 cups cashew (soaked 2–4 hours)
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
¼ cup lemon juice
? cup sweetener (raw light agave, light coconut nectar or other light-coloured sweetener)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
¾ cup melted cold-pressed coconut oil
½ cup coconut sugar
3 tbsp ginger juice (you can make your own by grating ginger and squeezing the juice out)
? cup filtered water
8 fresh figs (Cut into 5-6 slices per fig)
To prepare the base: Blend almonds and dates together in a food processor until almost a couscous-like texture. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few times until combined. The mixture should hold together well. Add 1–2 teaspoons of water if the mixture is too dry and crumbly.
Take an expandable slice tin and adjust to approx. 19cm x 26cm, line with plastic wrap (alternatively use a regular tart tin for a round tart), press the mixture firmly into the tin (and up the sides if using a tart tin).
Place the base into the fridge while you make the filling.
To prepare the cream filling: Drain and rinse cashews thoroughly. Blend all the ingredients except the coconut oil in a high-speed blender, being careful not to let it heat up. Blend until it’s smooth – like the texture of a silky cream.
Slowly pour in the coconut oil with the blender going until completely combined into the mixture.
Pour onto the base and leave to set for at least 6-8 hours before serving. Generally I leave it overnight just to be safe. Alternatively you can place it in the freezer for a few hours to set it in a hurry.
To prepare the syrup: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. If you have a dehydrator, place in here for 6 hours at 46°C until it forms a syrupy consistency. If you don’t have a dehydrator, place all the ingredients in a small pot on a low heat until it reduces into a syrup.
To finish: Once set, remove the tart from the tin and place on a cutting board. Slice into 12 rectangular pieces approx 4.5 x 6.5 cm (keep in mind the width of your figs and adjust the width so they are not hanging off the edges). Gently place the sliced fig pieces along each slice, then when ready to serve pour over the delicious ginger syrup.