Until a few weeks ago I had never tried a fig, but they’ve just come in to season here in Southern California. I had my first taste at the farmer’s market, and thought that they were probably a fruit I could live without, but then we received a pound of very pretty baby figs in our CSA box and I decided I had better give them another try. I had checked out The Essential Baker from the library (which has a huge selection of cookbooks, and I bet yours does too if you are in need of some inspiration), and found this recipe for fig and almond galette, which conveniently called for a pound of figs. So I made it. And I found out once and for all that I do not like figs, even if they are wrapped in butter and sugar and almonds. So I wrapped the whole thing – minus a few slices – up and sent it to the philosophy department. It takes about 40 minutes to get from our house to the philosophy department. About 45 minutes after my philosopher left I got a text saying the tart was gone. Apparently other people don’t share my aversion to figs, and I will take that as proof that this recipe is indeed worth sharing here.
Fig and Almond Galette (from The Essential Baker)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 stick cold butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
finely grated zest from 1 lemon
2-3 tablespoons ice water
Combine flour, almonds, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the almonds are very finely ground, about 1 minute. Cut the butter in to small pieces and add it to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until it is cut in to tiny piece, about 30 seconds. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons water (my lemon got lost somewhere between the grocery check-out and my kitchen, so I used 2 teaspoons of lemon juice from one of those plastic lemons and left out the zest). With the motor running, add the liquids all at once and process the dough until it starts to form a ball, about 1 minute. At this point, if the dough seems dry, add the final 1 tablespoon of water. Turn the dough out on to a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape it into a disk, wrap tightly, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before you roll it out
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons flour
Combine almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the almonds are very finely ground, about 1 minute. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and pulse several times to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the flour and pulse until the mixture is smooth, about 15 seconds. The original recipe calls for only 1/3 cup of this mixture, but I overlooked that step and used all of it, which I don’t think hurt the final product at all.
1 pound figs (about 7-8 large or 10-12 small), cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Toss the figs and brown sugar together in a bowl.
Roll the pasty dough out until it makes a circle roughly an 11 to 12 inches in diameter. My dough was very sticky, even after chilling, so use plenty of flour to keep it from sticking to your work surface. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet. Spread the almond filling on the dough, leaving a 3ish inch border all around. Pile the sugared figs on top of the almond paste and fold up the sides of the dough to form a crust.
Bake for 40-45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut in to wedges and serve.