Fresh Fig and Walnut Pie #SundaySupper

For the scant year and a half that I've had this blog, it's my third time celebrating mother's day and it will be four before the year is over. Since it's always celebrated in the spring, no matter what part of the equator you live on, we take our moms out to party in september, or october, I'm not quite sure now.
I made her a dark chocolate mousse last year and a fresh fig and walnut pie today. Why? She's crazy mad about figs which makes this pie the perfect gift for her.
She's more mad about figs than me. Dried, fresh, in syrup, whatever way, she likes them.

We're having a celebration with the Sunday Supper group, hosted by my friend Heather of Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks, and we made many fantastic recipes for you to share with whomever raised you and helped you be the person you are today.

My mom worked with me for two years at the Café I once had. There were times where it's very fair to say she worked more than me. We were both equally exhausted. But like only a mother can, she never lost her temper with me the way I did with her. Actually, I lost my temper with most persons at some point, a very unpleasant streak of the gastronomy business. 

1964 (her wedding) - mid 70´s, arriving from NYC, she thought no one had come to pick her up

I taught Carola how to bake a few things.
That's her name, and she hates that I call her that instead of mom, which I do on purpose of course, and now it's become a personal joke between us, especially since there was a customer who went to the cafe almost every day and had a chocolate colored labrador named like her, and they would sit outside and you would hear 'Carola, sit!' 'Carola, come here!' 'Let´s go Carola', making the other customers look at her puzzled and then laugh.
Everyone loved her, she was the heart of the shop during it's last year.

1982/84 With my older brother (he was very sick then). We were living in Palo Alto, California.
The water took away some old pictures, but happily not many, so I'm sharing some of my mom through the decades, so that you know who I'm celebrating today and I get them to a safe place, in case I loose them one day. Life is full of surprises people.

She got married at 19, gasp!, and by the time she was 24 had her three kids, the last two (me and my younger brother) with 11 months difference, so, if you're not into math, it means there is a month when we're the same age, or it also means she got pregnant again when I was less than two months old... gasp again!
I got my nose from her. And that frown in the second picture.

The most recent ones I could find: 1999 (my wedding) and 2005 helping me at a textile exhibition 
So much has gone by in her life between the other pictures and these two. But these were happy times.
She's 62 in the one on the right, and can still get away with almost no makeup. My sweet mother.

About the fig and walnut pie that is our concern here, I have two favorite ways to use fresh figs in a pie or tart, and though the classic tart with vanilla bean pastry cream and sweet tart dough will always have a big place in my heart, this version with walnut cream, an adaptation from the almond frangipane, and a graham cracker dough is currently gathering votes and positioning itself right up there.

After making graham crackers for the first time, I now keep the dough frozen at all times. Or as cookies in a tin. The flavor is one to beat. It´s the perfect one for cheesecakes and also for this fresh fig and walnut pie.
So the dough is prebaked, then a thick layer of walnut cream is added, and finally the majestic green and red figs are artfully (you can laugh if you want) placed atop before going into the oven and emerging with a not so vibrant color, but with that unmistakable smoky flavor of baked figs, the cookie crunchiness of the graham cracker dough and the creamy walnuts. Oh, and a good pouring of honey on top to make it shiny. 
This is good pie people. 

graham cracker dough from Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, by Nancy Silverton
walnut cream adapted from Simply Sensational Desserts, by François Payard

Makes 8 servings


For the crust:

For the walnut cream:
1 ½ cups walnut paste, at room tº, see recipe
4oz (115g) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 egg yolk
4 teaspoons flour

For the assembly:
9 or 10 fresh figs
2 Tbs sugar
2 or 3 Tbs honey


For the crust:
On a lightly floured surface, roll graham cracker dough about ¼ inch or less, to fit a 9-inch round pie plate. The dough might not roll in one neat piece like regular dough does; don´t worry, just do it in pieces and patch it in the mold. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350º about 15 minutes before baking.
Cover cold pie dough with a piece of aluminum foil, fill it with some kind of weight, I used lentils but you can use beans or ceramic marbles. Bake for 15 or 20 minutes, carefully lift the aluminum foil with the weight, and bake for another 10 minutes or so, until the dough is dry and lightly colored. Let cool on wire rack. Keep the oven on.

For the walnut cream:
In a bowl with a sturdy hand mixer or an electric one, mix walnut paste with butter. Add egg and egg yolk and then flour. Mix well but just to blend all ingredients completely.

For the assembly:
Wash, dry and cut figs in half.
Pur walnut cream evenly over pie dough, and arrange the half pieces of figs on top. Sprinkle with the sugar and bake for about 30 minutes, until figs are beginning to soften and walnut cream is puffy.
Let cool on wire rack, unmold onto serving plate and drizzle with honey before serving.

Make sure you take a look at what the rest of the group is sharing today:

Mother's Day Brunch:
Mother's Day Entrees:
Mother's Day Sides:
Mother's Day Desserts and Drinks:

Don't forget to join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter today to celebrate Mother's Day!

We’ll tweet throughout the day and share our delicious recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.


  1. Thank you for this beautiful post, Paula. Your mother is exquisite. And you both look gorgeous at your wedding...Okay, now on to compliments about your fig and walnut pie. The first thought that came to mind was no wonder Buenos Aires is considered the Paris of South America. Your tart is right out of a Parisian café. (I understand why you had your own café.) And the walnut cream - oh yum! Anyway, looks like you and your mum will be celebrating in style today. And again in September and October =)

  2. I love the photo of your mother in her wedding dress-she's gorgeous! The one of you both at your wedding is beautiful as well. I've always thought that the fig was seriously underrated and your photos of this pie show just how pretty and delicious they can be!

  3. Love your post, it's so beautiful!! I also love this pie, what a great use of figs!!

  4. Such a sweet tribute to your Mum, I love all the old photos - great idea to digitize them so that they are safe. I need to think about doing that.
    I adore figs, so I am pinning this tart to make!

  5. This was such a touching post, Paula. I loved seeing the photos of your beautiful mother (you two look so much alike), and your photos of that delicious pie are gorgeous, as well. Now, I'd like one slice, please :).

  6. Paula, your tart looks amazing! Such a beautifully moist, decorative dessert... the walnut cream sounds better than any frangipane I've made! I also want to say that this is a beautiful post. So glad that you and your mother have shared such a strong relationship. This is such a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. Sending you a hug! x

  7. Thanks for sharing you story, Paula! Your tart looks amazing!

  8. What a lovely post :) This tart looks delicious!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful pictures and memories!!!

    I also love figs - prefer them right off the tree :) Your fresh fig and walnut tarts sounds simply amazing, Paula! ~ Bea

  10. Esta vez te escribo en castellano porque no me salen las palabras en inglés. Qué lindo post Paula, qué lindo homenaje para tu mamá, el cariño con el que escribes lo dice todo. Maravillosas las fotos...!!!
    Happy Mother's Day

  11. What a lovely post Paula! From the heartfelt tribute to your mom to the scrumptious Fig & Walnut Pie, I read every word! If there is any pie leftover, pass me a slice!

  12. What a beautiful post, Paula. Thanks so much for sharing your mom a little with us today - what a beautiful, strong woman she is. You're both very lucky to have each other. And I love figs too, - your tart is stunningly beautiful!!

  13. Diana @GourmetDrizzlesSunday, 12 May, 2013

    Such a sweet post, Paula. So much fun to learn more about you and your mother... you are both beautiful inside and out! And that pie... wow, what an incredible pie! I adore figs too!

  14. figs are so gorgeous to photograph... this looks lovely.

  15. This is such a lovely post for your mum my friend! And I love this recipe it looks delicious :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. You and your mom and that pie are all gorgeous!! I love, love, love, fresh figs!!!

  17. Now I really can't wait for my fig tree to hurry up and fruit!

  18. You and your mom are such gorgeous ladies. I loved hearing about her! + I'm with your mom, figs are fantastic! Bookmarked this recipe...

  19. wow what a glorious looking tart! I've never tasted Graham crackers little own make them just for a tart base! Your inspiring me to get back baking!

  20. What magnificent tribute to your mom...a beauty on the inside and out. My mom adores figs as well...I'd love to bring her a slice of your stunning tart when I visit her next.

  21. This is such a lovely post about your mom. I love all your photos, so glad you didn't lose too many to the water. Your pie looks absolutely gorgeous, love all the fresh figs!

  22. Your mom sounds like a wonderful person. My mom also helps me with whatever I'm working on and has endless patience. It's too bad I didn't get that trait! And this pie! Love that you used graham cracker dough to make the crust. That is awesome, Paula! Love walnuts and figs too!

  23. Oh Paula,
    I love all of these photos of you and your mom. . I was actually looking for some today myself and can't find that many. . I think most of them are in Dallas or on a DVD or CD rom somewhere. . the not so good thing about technology. . I don't have as many real photos to hold and look at.
    When you said she never lost her temper with you the way you did with her. . I can totally relate! I am ashamed to say that last year, when my mom was visiting us out here in WA, I totally lost my temper with my mother. . and I felt horrible (just sick) afterwards. . and even I am a mother now but I still think I will never be the kind of mother my mom was to me. I can only strive to be that for my daughters. They deserve that.
    You were a gorgeous bride . . I must say. . and if this is your mom's fave. . the fig and walnut pie. . well, then she has beautiful taste! so lovely!!! what a great post, Paula!

  24. You mother is so beautiful! :)

    You wouldn't believe this..just a week ago I was looking at fresh figs and thinking what would it be possible to do with them :)

  25. This is one very beautiful tart, Paula. Your mother looks elegant and beautiful.

  26. A beautiful post and I enjoyed reading and learning about your mom!Lovely pics too :)
    This tart sounds and looks absolutely gorgeous.I love figs too and combining it with walnut seems like a great idea :) Pinning it right now!

  27. Such a beautiful post about your mom! Great pictures! Your tart look fantastic!

  28. Paula, of course your fig pie is out of this world and completely gorgeous (I love figs) but let's focus on talking about your mom. Wowzas she is a stunning lady! I loved this photo history of her, thank you so much for sharing them. I'm glad to hear that the flood didn't destroy all your pictures - that would've been devastating. And dang, your mom is 62 in that last photo?! I would've never guessed because she still looks young, vibrant and incredible. This was a beautiful post!

  29. What a stunning pie and I absolutely love all the photos of your mom and the story.

  30. Okay your dish is absolutely gorgeous and your mom is so unbelievably beautiful. Loved all the family photos.

  31. This is so lovely. I've never baked with figs before but they're just so beautiful and tasty, I really need to start! Also walnut cream sounds like the most incredible thing ever. Your mom is so beautiful...just like this tart!

  32. Paula - this is one of my favorite posts of yours - so personal, honest and caring. You and your mother do look so much alike and you are both so beautiful! Happy Mother's Day to her, and happy Thankful Daughter's Day to you! The tart looks amazing - I can't wait until our tree gives us some ripe figs so that we can make this! ~ David

  33. I really enjoyed all of the photos of you and your mom. That pie looks incredible, especially those fresh figs!

  34. That looks luscious and is stunningly gorgeous! Great recipe for #SundaySupper!

  35. What an incredible pie! I know my fig-loving husband would go ga-ga for it!

  36. Paula, I loved reading about your Mom! She's beautiful, just like you. This fig pie looks like the perfect treat for her.

  37. What a post Paula. So glad you didn't lose all the photos in the flood. What memories that must have gone though your head when you were writing this post. It's a lovely tribute and one that will be cherished by your family for sure.
    Your pie is stunning. It is the most beautiful fig pie I've ever seen. You have such talent.

  38. Such a lovely post, Paula! A wonderful tribute to your beautiful mother….you resemble her quite a bit!
    You know how I feel about figs…I will definitely be making this! I can’t wait till the fresh figs are in the market! Have a wonderful day!

  39. A beautiful post and a beautiful mom! I absolutely love your fresh fig and walnut pie. I would love to take a bite but I do not want to ruin your beautiful photography photos. Have a super weekend. BAM


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