It’s fig season here in the Northeastern U.S., and if you don’t have your own fig, there are plenty of markets selling different varieties of these luscious fruits. I had about a dozen that were ready to eat and decided to make a free-form crostata for dessert, poaching the figs first in port wine, honey and cinnamon. They’re delicious poached in red wine too, but if you have port wine, it’s a perfect match accompaniment to figs.
The figs become a little moister after poaching, which could make the pastry soggy, so I scattered a layer of sliced almonds as a bed for the figs, to act as a barrier and also give more texture and flavor.
Drain the figs from the poaching liquid and place them carefully over the almonds.
Gather the pastry around the edges, pinching to form a border. Brush with beaten egg, or some milk.
After it comes out of the oven, spread some of the reduced glaze over the top.
It’s delicious just as is, but a bit of ice cream always makes things better.
- Serves two to four people (easily doubled to serve eight)
- 10 to 12 figs, cut in half
- ½ cup Port wine
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- For the Pastry:
- ½ cup flour
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 3 or 4 tablespoons ice water, as needed
- Bring the Port wine, honey, sugar and cinnamon stick to a boil in a saucepan.
- Lower the heat and add the figs. Let the figs simmer for about 5-10 minutes, depending on how ripe the figs are.
- Don't let them poach so long that they lose shape.
- Drain the figs and set aside.
- Meanwhile, turn the heat to high and let the Port wine mixture reduce to about half or until about the consistency of honey.
- Don't forget the solution will be runnier when it's hot, but thickens when cooled.
- Mix the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor, until it resembles coarse sand. Add the ice water until it starts to hold together. Bring it out onto a board and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball, wrap in plastic and put it in the refrigerator for about a half hour to an hour.
- Remove from refrigerator and roll over a floured surface to a circle with a circumference of about 10-12 inches.
- Scatter the almonds over the center of the dough, leaving a border of about two inches.
- Place the poached figs over the almonds, then fold the pastry over the figs, pinching toward the edges to form a border.
- Brush the border with either beaten egg, or milk.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until browned.
- Remove from oven, and brush the reduced port wine glaze over the figs.
- If the glaze is too thick, put it back on the heat for a few minutes, adding a bit of water if necessary.