If you’re wondering what time of year it is, it’s fig season. Although still steamy hot during the day, New England has begun its slow transition into fall. If you’ve noticed earlier nights, then you’ll probably also have noticed cooler mornings and evenings. As we are in late summer, figs have started to show up everywhere and they’ll keep us company until early fall.
I’ve recently realized that not many people have had figs, and their closest encounter is with the famous Fig Newtons. Fun fact: the Newton part of the name comes from Newton, Massachusetts. I don’t remember the last time I had a Fig Newton, but I’m sure they don’t compare to real figs. And I am most certainly sure that they are no match for this fig galette I’m about to throw at you.
If galettes sound or look intimidating, they’re not. They’re actually unbelievably easy to make. The key word? Rustic. You don’t need to be perfect about anything on this one, except maybe making the tart dough. Some things are still sacred.
Try creating a galette with any fruit, or even leave the sugar out of the dough and make it a savory one. But since we’re in fig season and they’re such lovely little precious things, we should make something beautiful with them.
So go ahead, impress your friends, and bake your little galette off. In this recipe, I’ve only used half of the tart dough. You can pull a Wei and use the second half with different fillings or simply double down and double up on some of the ingredients to create a large dessert.
adapted from Bon Appetit
serves about 4
Tart Dough (from Bon Appetit)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour, extra for surface
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Half vanilla bean
Half of tart dough
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teapsoon cold water
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
Start by cutting the butter up into smaller pieces and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes to make it extra cold. Add sugar, salt, and flour into a medium bowl and whisk everything together. Add butter, and begin rubbing and mixing the butter with the flour using your hands until it resembles a coarse meal consistency. It’s ok if there are some small pieces remaining. Add the beaten egg and gently mix again until the egg disappears.
On a lightly floured surface, pour out the dough and knead until it is smooth. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight before using.
Preheat oven to 350F. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
In a pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Cut the vanilla bean and scrape out seeds into pan. Toss the vanilla pod into the pan as well. Stir occasionally until butter is a caramel brown color – don’t let it burn. This will take around 5 minutes. Take out the pod and transfer the brown butter into a small container to cool.
Use just half of the tart dough from the tart recipe – take it out from the fridge to let it soften up a bit. Start slicing the figs thinly and set them aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the tart dough until it’s 1/8″ inch thick – no need to be precise with the shape here as long as it’s relatively symmetrical. Gently transfer the rolled dough onto the lined baking sheet. Begin layering the sliced figs on the top of the dough, leaving an inch around the border. Brush the figs with brown butter and sprinkle brown sugar on top.
Fold the outside of the dough over the edges of the figs – overlap the dough when necessary. Beat egg with 1 teaspoon water and brush egg wash over crust. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and cinnamon before placing in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, rotating once. Figs should soften significantly and the crust should be a beautiful golden brown. Let cool before cutting.