I get in trouble sometimes. Especially on the weekends. See, some idea gets in my little pea-brain and then I go with it, early in the morning. The kids are distracted, the husband's catching Z's, and I really should be sitting my butt in a chair and downing a bowl of cereal. Or a slice of toast. Or a walnut. Anything, really. I need to learn my lesson.
But I start buzzing around. Getting down cookbooks. Ignoring the dog's plaintive wails, the newspaper on the stoop. This weekend it was frangipane. A few years ago I had no idea what frangipane was, but yesterday it was all I could think about.
By the time everyone was ready to bond with me I was a dough-covered, hunger-induced mess. Can someone feed the damn dog? Why is the family room such a sty?
So my apologies, family. Next time I'll eat before cooking.
Happily, all was forgiven when they saw what I made.
Shocking, but my efforts at abstinence-only education failed in a big way.
Recipe for Fig Galette with Pistachio Frangipane
Frangipane is a heady combination of ground nuts (usually almonds), butter, and sugar that's often used to fill pastries and tarts. This version is an adaptation of the almond frangipane in Tartine, a fantastic cookbook (and equally fantastic San Francisco bakery). The crust was inspired by the apple crostata in Barefoot Contessa Parties, another book I pull off its perch again and again. The figs? That's all me, baby.
Makes 2 galettes (each serves 4-6)
For the crust:2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup ice water
For the frangipane:
1 cup dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios
1/2 cup sugar
13 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
For the figs:
6 fresh Black Mission figs, stemmed, cut lengthwise into thirds
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange juice
1/4 teaspoon orange zest, packed
Make the crust: Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the diced butter and pulse until it is reduced to the size of peas, about 12 pulses. Turn on the machine and add the water through the feed tube. Then pulse some more until the dough just comes together. Transfer dough to a board, divide it in half, flatten into disks, and wrap them in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Wipe out the processor but don't wash.)
Meanwhile, make the frangipane: Finely grind the pistachios, sugar, and salt in the food processor. Beat the butter in a stand mixer until soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the ground pistachio/sugar mixture and continue beating until well incorporated, about 30 seconds longer. Add the egg and beat for another minute. Mixture should be very light and creamy. (Refrigerate if not using within the hour.)
In a separate bowl, combine the figs, 2 teaspoons sugar, orange juice and zest. Toss well.
To assemble: Roll each disk of cold pastry into a 10-inch circle on a floured board. Transfer to 2 baking sheets lined with parchment or silpat liners. Spread ¾ cup frangipane on each of the pastries, leaving a 1 inch border. (You’ll have a little frangipane left over for another use.) Layer with figs. Fold in sides of pastry decoratively, leaving the center open. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or longer.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Bake galettes for about 25 minutes, or until crust and filling are nicely browned. Cool before attempting to transfer as pastry will be somewhat fragile.