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Fruit Tart with Cream RECIPE

This recipe was contributed by Shirley Cline.

Shirley was a great inspiration when I first started working on the idea of creating a recipe and cooking web site. Not only did she encourage me but she also supplied a great many recipes and other pieces which are featured throughout the site. Her great achievement was to teach me to cook risotto over the internet!

Although I never had the chance to meet Shirley, or even talk to her, I regarded her as a good friend. It was with great sadness that I learnt that she passed away in Autumn 2004 and that there would be no more emails. I think she will be sadly missed by a lot of people like me to whom she gave such pleasure with the sharing or her recipes. The pleasure my children have had from her recipe for Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint - not to mention the fights for seconds - has been a joy to behold.

"This is a Tuscan recipe and easy to make."


1 cup flour
Pinch of slat
5 Tblsp chilled unsalted butter
3 Tblsp ice water
6 oz dried figs, stems removed
2 oz dried apricots
2 Tblsp Marsala wine
1 Tblsp grappa or cognac 
1 Tblsp honey
1/4 cup Créme Frâiche or whipping cream
2 large fresh figs for garnish

  • Stir together flour and salt.
  • Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add ice water and toss with a fork until mixture begins to come together.
  • Quickly form it into a smooth ball, wrap in waxed paper and chill for 15 minutes.
  • In a saucepan combine figs, apricots, Marsala, grappa (or cognac), honey and 2 tablespons of water.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer.
  • Cook for 15 minutes to soften the fruit.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a round 1/8 inch thick.
  • Transfer to 10 inch tart pan and press dough onto the bottom and sides.
  • Trim away excess.
  • Prick well all over with fork.
  • Cover surface with foil and weight with beans.
  • Bake for 10 minutes then remove foil and beans and bake until golden and crisp, another 12 - 15 minutes.
  • Cool tart shell on a rack.
  • Put cooled fruit mixture into food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  • Lightly whip the Créme Frâiche or whipping cream.
  • Put puréed fruit in cooled tart shell.
  • Spread a thin layer of cream over the puree.
  • Cut fresh figs into thin wedges and arrange attractively on top of the tart (I usually put the slices upside down in each corner).


If you wish to make your own Créme Frâiche you will need:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tblsp. buttermilk.

Combine cream and buttermilk in a clean glass jar with a lid. Shake well. Set aside at room temp until thickened which takes about 24 - 48 hours. It will keep refrigerated for up to one week. Makes about 1 cup.

Makes one 10 inch tart

Shirley Cline

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