Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Figs

Last week the weather hovered around 85, which is particularly hot without air conditioning. But today the sky was overcast, and I wore jeans. So I during nap time, I put on my ipod and
and began chopping butternut squash.
This is a great recipe is you have a hankering for Butternut Squash Soup -- a little taste of Fall.

8 Cups Cubed butternut squash (peeled)
2 Cups chopped granny smith apples (peeled)
1 1/2 Cups chopped onion
1/2 cup celery
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. Curry powder
Vegetable or chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
Shredded White Cheddar to top

-Bake Squash on Sprayed pan @400 for 45 min (I peeled it first, which is really hard to do, but the squash cooks faster. Much easier to bake then peel and chop).
-In large soup pot saute onions, apples, bay leaves, celery for 10 minutes.
-Add pressed garlic and curry stir continuously for 2 minutes.
-Add Squash and Broth (I used about a box and a 1/3), salt and pepper simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
-Remove bay leaves.
-Mash with potato masher to desired consistency or you can puree.
-Smother with white cheddar!



And then Fresh Fig Galettes (from the book Fresh From the Farmers' Market).

I was listening to a sermon -- which I have never done before while cooking -- and the pastor was talking about the California poppy. He said that he sees it not only as an example of God's creativity, but of God's love for humanity; nothing needs to be beautiful for us to survive. And as I listened, I looked down at the figs I was cutting, their thin leathery skin, the sigh of white, their soft mouthy centers. Love.



And what better thing to do with such a beautiful slice of fruit then to put it in a crust.

And bake it til it browns.

This would be tasty in the morning, warm, with a cup of coffee. Upon first bite, the word that came to mind was "earthy"; the fig is an earthy fruit, after all. I cut the sugar back to 4 T's because my figs were soft and ripe, but I think a little more sugar would have served them well. The crust is buttery but not too rich, and the sprinkling of sugar on top makes it a treat unto itself. (again, the coffee would play in well here).

Fresh FIG GALETTES

for the dough:

2 c flour
3/4 t salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, chilled, in small pieces
7 T solid veg shortening, chilled, in small pieces
~1/4 c ice water

-In food processor (or mixer, or simply using a whisk), combine flour and salt.
-Add butter pieces and pulse a few times, just until fat is evenly distributed and coated with flour. (or simply cut with knives)
-Add shortening pieces and pulse a few times until coated with flour. There should still be pieces of flour-coated fat about the size of large peas.
-Transfer to large bowl.
-Drizzle with ice water while tossing with a fork until it begins to come together
-then gather the dough with your hands. You may have to knead it slightly to get it to hold together, but that's better than adding more water
-Handle dough as little as possible, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hrs.

Preheat the oven to 425

Filling:

1 1/2 lb fresh figs
6 T sugar (or less if quite ripe)

Egg wash: 1 egg yolk whisked with 2 T heavy cream (or make do with whatever you have -- I used a splash of whole milk)
Sugar for galette rims

-Quarter figs (or cut into sixths if large). Set aside.
-Just before you are ready to assemble the galettes, sprinkle figs with 6 T sugar and toss gently

Method:
-Divide dough into 6 equal pieces.
-Working with 1 piece at a time, roll out on lightly floured board into a circle about 1/8" thick
-Transfer to baking sheet
-Arrange 1/6 of figs "attractively" -ha -- in the center, leaving 1 1/2 " edge all the way around
-Fold over edge to create a boarder, making sure there are no cracks in the dough or the juices will leak while baking (patch with little pieces if necessary).
-For each galette, brush the border with a little egg wash then sprinkle border generously with sugar.
-Bake until crust is golden and fruit is bubbly, 22-25 minutes
-Transfer to a rack and cool slightly before serving

2 comments:

Hollie Shannon said...

I'm going RIGHT NOW and finding figs, somewhere, anywhere I can... And butternut squash for that matter.
You rock.

Carrie said...

wow!! both of those recipes sound absolutely delicious!! i'm drooling over the figs, but i think a cup of tea would do quite well, too :) jeje
oh, and thanks for representing my hubby! i hope to see you soon, i miss your face.