Figs are a funny type of fruit to me. I didn’t grow up with them around the house, and my only knowledge of their existence lay with the ‘Fig Newton’ cookies I would try occasionally (and spit out–man, I hated those things as a kid!). My first experience with figs were of the honey-preserved variety, which were sickly sweet and didn’t arouse my interest whatsoever. Unfortunately, fresh figs aren’t easy to come by in the Midwest where I spent my school and post-grad days.
I’m glad, then, that we moved to California and I was subsequently given the chance to enjoy fresh figs here in Los Angeles. I’ve missed out on so much! Not only are figs a fantastic companion to softer cheeses, like a mozzarella burrata or brie, but they are great in baked confections as well. And they are absolutely gorgeous when sliced in half and left open-faced, as I’ve done with this galette. Their honeyed, earthy flavor and pulpy texture go well with a butter crust.
I wanted to ramp up the sweetness and the complexity of the flavor a bit, so I added a frangipane spread underneath the fig slices as well. Almonds and figs are great flavor companions for fall, and I wanted something less overwhelming than marzipan (which would be too heavy for this anyway). If you haven’t worked with frangipane in the past, it’s a great base for tarts and galettes–creamy and mild, with a hint of almond. Because it is egg-based, it will rise between the slices of fig during the baking process–but worry not! It still yields a gorgeous galette.
And for the uninitiated, “galette” is another way of saying “freeform pie”; the best part about galettes is that the less fussy you are about appearances, the more ‘rustic’ it looks! Very no-fuss, which is fantastic when I’ve got bits and pieces of pie crust leftover and I’m looking to use some fruit before it goes bad. Just make sure you are meticulous about folding the edges of the crust in to keep the filling from spilling out. I learned that lesson the hard way… yuck!
This recipe is sized for 4 people–I would use a pie crust recipe that can make one 9″ pie crust. Each galette is ~5 in. in diameter. If you want to, you can bypass splitting the crust into 4 parts and use the recipe for one pie-sized galette. I just found it easier for keep myself from eating too much at once (and giving the rest away to others). Enjoy!
Frangipane recipe via About.com.
Personal Fig & Frangipane Galette
- 1 pie crust/pate brisee
- 15-20 black figs
- 1/2 c. ground almond meal
- 1/4 c. white sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. AP flour
- Set the oven at 350ºF. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with Silpat or parchment paper.
- Combine the almond meal, white sugar, egg, butter, vanilla and flour in a food processor and pulse until a paste is formed. (If you don’t have almond meal, you can ground almonds in a coffee grinder set to ‘fine’ and this will produce the same consistency as meal.)
- Refrigerate the frangipane until needed– this will allow it to thicken and make it easier to spread.
- Wash, de-stem and cut the figs into thin slices, no wider than 1/8 inch. Set aside.
- Divide the dough in four and flatten with a rolling pin. Place each piece of crust on the parchment paper with at least 2 inches between .
- Spread the frangipane from the middle of the rolled crust, leaving 2 in. of leeway from the edges.
- Place the fig slices on top of the frangipane–you can take the time to make it pretty and radiate from the center if you wish. I placed mine haphazardly in circles, and they turned out just fine.
- Once you’ve finished placing the figs, take one corner of the crust and fold it over the edge of the figs. Continue folding over each part of the pie crust, pinching the overlapping dough together slightly, until all of the crust is folded inward. There should be a large portion of the fig still uncovered and facing up.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for ~20-30 minutes. Since these are smaller, they will bake a lot faster, so make sure you check after 20 minutes and look for browning around the edges facing the center.
- When finished, place the galettes on a cooling rack and allow to cool, ~30 minutes, before eating.