This past weekend I got together with my friends for one of our famous potlucks. As the host, JenFinn got to pick the theme which was "fabulous fall foods". As you know, I love this time of year, especially when it comes to the produce. With many pumpkin based items already planned, I wanted to do something different. The figs at the Beverly Hills market are just about gone, but I was lucky to score a couple baskets of the beautiful fruit.
This was definitely one of the most amazing potlucks that we've had. We stuffed our faces with pumpkin ravioli, stuffed acorn squash, brussels sprouts, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, salmon, pear salad, and two kinds of potatoes. Plus, later after all the wine, I had my first poutine experience (yum!). The tarts seemed to go over really well. They were pretty easy to make too. I did the dough by hand, but other than that I followed the recipe directly except I did add a splash of lemon juice to the fresh figs on top of the tarts. Fig season is just about done, so I was happy to get my hands on some and make this wonderful, simple desssert.
Honeyed Fig Crostatas
(From Food & Wine, October 2009)
Makes 8 mini crostadas
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 pounds fresh green and purple figs, each cut into wedges
5 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves, plus small sprigs for garnish
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Add the water; pulse until the dough comes together. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out eight 5-inch rounds, rerolling the scraps if necessary; transfer to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, toss two-thirds of the figs with 3 teaspoons of the honey, the lemon juice, thyme leaves and a pinch of salt. Arrange the figs on the dough rounds, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Fold the edges over the figs and brush the dough with the egg wash. Chill for 30 minutes.
Bake the crostatas for 35 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the crusts are golden. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Gently toss the remaining figs with the remaining 2 teaspoons of honey. Transfer the crostatas to plates, top with the figs and thyme sprigs and serve.