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Pumpkin, Fig & Goats Cheese Tart with Lemon Thyme




Pastry (you can use pre-prepared pastry if you like)
  • 135g of spelt flour, or plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 40g of polenta, (not instant or quick-cook)
  • 100g of cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp of cold water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g of soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 260g of pumpkin purée, (from a can or make your own)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus extra to decorate
  • 120ml of whole milk
  • 3 tsp lemon thyme leaves, plus extra to decorate
  • 3 fresh figs, halved


  1. First, make the pastry. Place the flour, polenta, butter and salt in a food processor and blitz briefly to fine crumbs (or rub the butter into the other ingredients with your fingers) – if using standard pastry, go to step 5.
  2. Add the water gradually, pulsing the food processor (if using) as you go, until the mixture starts to come together when pressed between your fingers.
  3. Shape into a flat disc, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.
  5. When the pastry has chilled, roll it out on a floured work surface to around 5mm thick, then use to line a 9cm loose-bottomed tart tin, pressing it into the edges of the tin with a smaller ball of pastry. Trim any overhanging pastry.
  6. Line the pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, then remove the baking beans and parchment and bake for another 5 minutes, until the case is light golden and firm.
  7. While the pastry bakes, make the filling.
  8. Whisk the eggs and goat’s cheese in a large bowl or jug until completely smooth. Whisk in all the remaining ingredients, except for the figs.
  9. When the tart case has baked, leave to cool for 5 minutes then carefully pour the filling mixture into the case.
  10. Arrange the figs over the top of the filling and sprinkle with a little more lemon thyme and another grating of nutmeg.
  11. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the filling has only a very slight wobble when you move the tart tin, and has puffed up and turned light golden around the edges.
  12. Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving warm, or set aside and serve at room temperature by the slice, with a side salad.

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