Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fig and Rosemary Crostata

Fig is a highly praised fruit.  According to some sources it was the "forbidden fruit" consumed by Adam and Eve.  Since, it has traveled from Asia to Middle East and to the Mediterranean region.  Egyptians made what we now call "Fig Newtons" by rolling dried figs in dough.  Figs work great in both savory and sweet dishes.  Some of the European cultures use dry figs to flavor coffee.  In the Arab world they are fermented for spirits.

When figs are in season, which is June through October one just has to take advantage of their natural sweetness.  The taste goes perfectly with the two things I love most:  cheese and wine.  Crostata is the simple to make, festive enough to entertain with and can be made in many sizes, from family style to individual portions. 
Crostata is a tart that is baked without the tart pan.  The filling is enclosed by folding up the edges of the dough.  I have made sweet and savory crostatas and the recipe is versatile enough that you can use whatever is your pantry or fridge at the time.

Fig and Rosemary Crostata.
For the dough:
1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
6 tbs butter ( very cold and cubed)
½ tbs kosher salt
¼ cup of cold heavy cream ( milk or ice water can be substituted)
1 egg ( for eggwash)
½ tbs of French Flower salt ( this is course gray salt, which has a very earthy flavor, which enhances the earthy rosemary falvor.  You can substitute with any coarse salt)

For the filling
2 Qts of fresh figs
2 Tbs honey
3 rosmary springs minced

Preheat the oven to 350F.  In the bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade attachment combine flour, salt, and cubed cold butter.  Pulse a few times until the mixture looks like coarse meal.  Add the heavy cream ( or water/ milk) and pulse just until the dough comes together.

Wrap the ready dough in plastic and let chill in refrigerator for at least 30 min.  If you are in a hurry, you can pop it into the freezer for 10 min.
While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.  Clean and quarter the figs, drizzle with honey and toss with rosemary.  If the figs are very ripe, try not to handle them to much so they keep their shape.
Roll out the dough on a well floured surface with a well floured rolling pin.  This dough is sticky… so I warned you!  You want a rough circle of about 12’ in diameter for a 9’ Crostata.
Add your filling to the middle of the rolled dough, keeping roughly to a 9’ diameter and fold the left over edges onto the filling, crimping as needed.  You may need to trim some of the uneven edges.  This dough is very forgiving, so if there is a tear it can be repaired easily.
Paint the dough of the ready Crostata with egg wash and bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment for about 35 min or until the top is golden brown. 
Let cool on the cooling rack and serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite soft cheese and wine.


anna said...

This sounds delicious!!! I love figs in any form, especially in dough.

anna said...

BWY, I can see all your entries by name and by date, so you don't need to worry about that.