If you're not comfortable with making pies, a galette is a great substitute. The French use the word
galette and the Italians call it a crostata but what it is is simply a free-form, rustic looking pie. You are
making pie pastry but forming it in such a way that it doesn't matter if you mess up because it's not
supposed to look perfect.
Figs are harvested twice in a year. In the US, the first harvest is in early July and second, larger
harvest, begins in late summer and can run as long as late October. If fresh figs are not currently
available, you can make this recipe with apples, pears, peaches,or apricots.
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Crisco *
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
3 tablespoons butter, melted
12-14 ounces fresh figs
1/4 cup sugar
1 heaping tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of one lemon
Dash of salt
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Optional: Serve with a scoop of ice cream or
a spoonful of sweetened whipped cream
To make the crust:
In food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse in butter and Crisco
until mixture looks like cornmeal. Add just enough water until dough starts to
come together. Flatten into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate about 30 minutes.
Prepare the crunch topping by combining all the ingredients. Set aside.
Cut the stem end off and cut each fig into quarters. In a large bowl, combine
the flour, sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest, and salt. Add cut figs and toss to coat.
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle.
Leaving a 3-inch border, spread the apricot preserves over the center. Place
3/4 of the crunch topping over, still leaving the border. Starting at the outer
edge, working toward the center, lay the figs in circles. Sprinkle with remaining
crunchy topping. Using the parchment to help, fold the dough over the figs.
Carefully slide the paper with galette onto a baking pan. Brush the exposed
dough with egg mixture.
Bake for 35 minutes. Check to assure that the crust is not getting too brown.
If it is, cover the crust with some foil to prevent burning. Return to oven and
bake 15 minutes longer. When cool, transfer galette with parchment to a
serving dish. If desired, top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream.
* NOTE: We recommend using Crisco (or vegetable shortening) in this
recipe to give the crust more flakiness. You may use all butter if you prefer.