Fig, Maple and Rosemary Galette

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The other day I bought this giant tray full of figs for $6 at Harris Farm in St Ives. They were also selling them individually, 3 for $4. I had no requirement for one fig, much less 60 of them, but of course I bought them anyway.

I had grand plans for the figs - fig jam, upside down caramelised fig cake, fig tarts, figs wrapped in prosciutto, fig breakfast smoothies, roast chicken and figs, fig salad... Unfortunately the next day half of them were mouldy and seeing the white cotton fluff growing from between the soft, sweet little bulbs nearly made me cry.

But I got to work, picking out the non mouldy ones (everything not in the middle was ok), rinsing them in really hot water, and then soaking them in the sink with water and 1/4 cup vinegar. Then I cut of the stems, peeled and quartered them (there was still about 25 figs left, plus we'd already eaten about 10 so it wasn't a terrible loss), and froze them. TRY AND GROW NOW, MOULD.

As for the mouldy figs, I put them all in a big pot with some leftover potting soil (who knows what will happen) and have been watering them. Yes, I know that's not how you plant figs from seeds, I have some fig seeds drying right now as we speak and will plant them properly when they're ready.

Meanwhile, I have been using the figs in my breakfast smoothies, with banana, honey and walnut, and it is gooood. And also eating them in porridge and salad. But I wanted to make a nice great with them as well, so decided on a galette because they are so easy, and the oven was on.

I had leftover butter pastry from another adventure so decided to use that up on the galette, and also had spare to make mini fig tarte tatins that I brought on a picnic. You can use store bought shortcrust or puff pastry for this, they would both work fine.

Fig, Maple and Rosemary Galette
Serves 6

For the pastry
- 250g flour
- 250g butter, chopped
- 100ml cold water

I've been using this method for a while to make flaky, buttery, puffy pastry. And it is good. What I do is freeze the butter before incorporating it into the flour. So chop your butter up roughly, but into small chunks.

If your butter is unsalted, sift flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter very loosely until flour is incorporated but there are still bits of butter. Make a well in the centre and add in the water and combine until the dough is firm but rough. You can add more water if needed. Roll out onto a floured surface. There should still be bits of butter in the pastry. Fold in half and roll out again three times.

Chill for at least half an hour before rolling it out to about 5mm thick. Place in a greased 15cm pie pan and fill with the figs.

For the filling:
- 6 figs, stems cut and quartered
- 25 g butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (spray the measuring cup with cooking oil beforehand)
- 1 vanilla bean/ 2 tsp vanilla bean paste/ 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 4 small sprigs rosemary (I leave them on the big twig because I know my brother will pick them out)
- 1 egg white, beaten, or 1/4 cup milk or water
- 1/2 tbsp caster (or any) sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter then add the maple syrup until it slightly caramelises and is bubbling softly. Add the vanilla and stir lightly to combine. Add the figs and let simmer until the figs are soft and caramelised. Don't stir too much or the figs will break down. Remove from heat.

Arrange the figs on the pastry. Add the rosemary and then pour the caramel syrup over the figs. Fold the extra pastry on the sides, pleat so it covers the edges. You don't have to be neat or precise with this at all, I wanted a rustic look. Brush with egg white, water, or milk. I used soy milk because I'm lactose intolerant, and then sprinkled with caster sugar.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden. We ate ours with ice cream, but it's just as good without (:

xx gee


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