Fig Crostata with Almond Whipped Cream

Alright, so it has been a while since I’ve posted and all I can say is I have been busy and, honestly, uninspired. My mind has been elsewhere but I am back and I am ready to roll!

I discovered a few fig trees in my backyard last week and knew they needed to be in the next dessert I made. Last year, I was late to the game and I made a batch of Tipsy Fig Jam with some late season figs but this year I hope to use figs all season. This Fig Crostata is insanely good. Seriously. Go find some figs and make it!

fig

The crust is a classic piecrust, my go to recipe that is buttery, flakey, and perfect. It is great for any sweet pie but the recipe is halved so it only is for one 9” pie or galette without a top. The almond mixture that goes on top of the piecrust is chewy, flavorful, and accompanies the fresh figs perfectly. Thinly sliced figs add a gooey finish and texture. Lastly, this dish is made even better with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of almond whipped cream. But, I recommend taking a few bites without any additions to fully appreciate the flakey dough and almond and fig. 

The pie dough is a favorite recipe of mine and the filling is from Martha Stewart, I have edited the amount of figs used because one pound was way too much.

fig
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Fig and Almond Crostata
Flakey pie crust with a chew almond filling and studded with fresh figs.
Ingredients
  • Pie Crust:
  • 1 1/4 C salted butter
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/4 C all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3-4 T ice water
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 C blanched almonds
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 C salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 t all purpose flour
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 3 large fresh figs, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
Instructions
1. For the pie crust: Cube butter, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in freezer. 2. In a food processor, pulse the sugar, salt, and 1 cup of flour until combined. Add the butter from the freezer and pulse until butter pieces are pea sized. 3. In a medium bowl, add the last ¼ cup of flour. Dump the butter mixture from the food processor into the bowl. Add two tablespoons of ice water. Use your hand to mix until combined. Add another tablespoon of water and continue to combine. The dough should come together when pressed. If there is excess flour, add a little more water and combine. If too sticky, dust a little more flour and continue to combine. 4. Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least one hour. 5. For the filling: In a food processor mix almonds and sugar until ground. Add 1 egg, butter, flour, vanilla, and salt. Pulse until smooth. 6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, place sliced figs and lemon juice, set aside. 7. Roll out dough, using necessary flour to keep dough from sticking to rolling pin, onto lightly floured parchment paper until it gets to a 12” round. Dump filling in middle and spread on pie dough leaving an inch around the edge. Place figs on top of filling. 8. Beat other egg for egg wash. Use a pastry brush to brush egg wash on pie dough edges, fold over edges in desired fashion. Brush egg wash over the folded crust. 9. Place parchment paper and crostata onto a sheet pan. Bake for 30 minutes and add a piece of foil to slow browning. Continue baking for 20 more minutes until crust is browned and filling is set. 10. Let cool slightly. Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or enjoy by itself.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings
fig and whipped cream
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Almond Whipped Cream
Silky whipped cream with light almond flavoring.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 3 T powdered sugar
  • 1/4 t almond extract*
Instructions
1. Place your bowl and metal beater attachments in the freezer, using a metal bowl will allow for quicker whipped cream making. Freeze the bowl for at least 20 minutes. 2. Place heavy whipping cream in the frozen bowl and beat with frozen beater attachments. Continue to beat until cream thickens. 3. Add powdered sugar and almond extract. Continue to beat until desired whipped cream texture is created. 4. Serve immediately or keep covered in a bowl in the fridge.** *Vanilla extract can be substituted for almond extract and will result in a more classic whipped cream flavor. **The whipped cream will begin to separate after a few hours so if possible, make this before serving.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:
fig crostata

Listening to: Mumford and Sons 

Challah and Almond Rolls

These rolls were truly a revelation. I have been wanting to make almond babka with the Everyday Challah dough for a long time but have not been up to it as it is slightly intimidating. Intimidating not only because its quite a process but also because it is very “in” right now and so I would want it to be perfect and that’s not really me. So on my two hour drive to my moms, I thought about how much dough the recipe makes and thought I could make two babka loaves and casually use the left overs for challah cinnamon rolls and then it hit me. CHALLAH CINNAMON ROLLS. But then I thought more. Maybe through some cinnamon in the challah dough to make cinnamon rolls and make a delectable almond paste filling, similar to what you find in a bear claw.

challah

Guys, these are seriously good. They are unique and make enough big rolls for a crowd. Plus, you bake them in a cast iron skillet which makes everything better.

It was past 3pm when I pulled the skillet out of the oven but I decided to pretend it was breakfast so I put a pot of coffee on and went to town. I fully recommend a second breakfast, especially on a Saturday, especially with these gorgeous things.

challah
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Cinnamon and Almond Challah Rolls
A special treat for a sweet breakfast but a change from classic cinnamon rolls.
Ingredients
  • Cinnamon Challah:
  • 2 C water
  • 1/2 C salted butter
  • 2 T honey
  • 7 C bread flour
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 3 (1/4 oz) packets active dry yeast
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • Filling:
  • 1 7oz tube of almond paste
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 C salted butter, partially melted
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 t half and half
Instructions
1. Heat water and butter in small saucepan until butter is melted, add honey and stir. Take off heat.  2. In a standing mixer fitted with wire beating attachment, mix together 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and butter saucepan mixture.  Mix until combined. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition. Add cinnamon and beat. 3. Change standing mixer attachment to bread hook. Add remaining 4 cups flour in half-cup increments. The machine will begin to struggle before all the flour is added. 4. Place dough in a lightly oiled, large bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm area until doubled in volume, about an hour (an oven warmed to 200 degrees then turned off will work well).  5. Punch down dough and turn it out onto floured surface. Knead for a few minutes and add necessary flour until the dough is no longer sticky. 6. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Be sure to flip the dough over and add necessary flour as you roll. Roll to the thickness of ¼ to 1/8 inch. 7. To make the filling: beat together almond paste, cinnamon, semi-melted butter, powdered sugar, and egg white until smooth. Spread filling onto rolled out dough leaving a half inch border around the entire edge. 8. Carefully roll the dough (roll the long end so you have a long roll). Cut off the ends and cut the roll into 12 one inch segments. 9. Place rolls in a greased 11¾ inch cast iron skillet. Let rise again for an hour under a towel. 10. After the second rise, preheat oven to 350 F and bake for 35-40 minutes. Halfway through, cover with foil to decrease browning. The rolls should be browned and the dough should not give at all when touched. 11. Once taken out of the oven, make the glaze by lightly whisking powdered sugar and half and half. Drizzle over warm rolls*. Serve immediately. *the glaze can easily be doubled or tripled depending on how much you want but they are pretty sweet as is so discretion is advised. 
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 large rolls
challah

For those of you following my move to wine country: I love my job so far and am getting to know the area! My commute is filled with farms, wineries, animals of all sorts, and very few cars. It is truly what every commute should consist of!

challah

Listening to: old Coldplay songs

Brown Butter Marzipan Blondies

Okay, so they are more of a dense cookie bar but boy, these are DELICIOUS! They are chewy, marzipan-y, buttery, and just plain fun! The brown butter adds depth and nuttiness and complements the marzipan. The sprinkles are optional but why would you leave them out?

blondies

Marzipan: a delicious almond product that I always enjoyed but never thought much about until Molly Yeh’s cookbook came out. She is the biggest fan of marzipan I have ever heard of. Her love inspired me to buy a log of marzipan at the store earlier this week. I also bought a large container of rainbow jimmies because I was inspired by Molly’s other love, sprinkles.

Those two items have sat on the counter for the past few days and while making dinner, I realized that I should make blondies with them. Marzipan and funfetti blondies. This train of thought then took me onto a long internet binge looking at all things marzipan and blondies. I learned what I could about melting butter instead of creaming it and what it takes to make a good blondie and here we are. I have to say though, that with the browned butter and brown sugar, these turned out to be more “tannies.” The kind of tan a Southern California surfer has in August, dark. But that name is not appealing so I am sticking with blondie.

blondie
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Brown Butter Marzipan Blondies
Chewy, almond cookie bars loaded with marzipan and sprinkles.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 C salted butter
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 C flour
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 3.5 ounces marzipan
  • 3 T sprinkles/jimmies (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t almond extract
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8x8 inch baking dish by cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit the dish. Make sure there is extra on two of the sides (like wings) so it is easy to remove when done. 2. In a light bottomed pan, melt butter. Once melted continually swirl (do not stir) until bottom begins to brown. Remove from pan and place in medium sized heatproof bowl (ceramic or glass). 3. Add brown sugar to butter and lightly mix with a spatula. Let cool. 4. While butter is cooling, put flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a separate medium size bowl and stir. 5. Cut up marzipan into pea size pieces and place in flour mixture. Stir as you place the marzipan in so the pieces will not stick together. Add sprinkles and stir. 6. Mix brown sugar and butter mixture with a handheld mixer until combined, add in egg and mix. Slowly spoon in flour mixture and mix until all combined. Add water and extracts, mix. 7. Place dough into prepared dish and use a spatula to flatten it evenly. 8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 9. Let cool, loosen the sides that don’t have parchment with a knife and pull them out of the pan by the wings. Cut up as desired. NOTE: Using a plastic knife helps create a clean cut that doesn’t drag crumbs. This is especially important when making brownies to present.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 large blondies
blondie

Listening to: Dr. Dog Pandora Station