I found figs!! FIGS!
It was like a little “congratulations” for making it out of Lolla alive.
I was perusing the fruits/veggies at our local health food store because sometimes they have fo free almost-bad bananas I like to snatch up and freeze for smoothies [no dice on that one], I turn around, and what do I see?? Heaven? Possibly. Figs? Yes!
Beautiful, beautiful figs.
Then the anxiety set in. My first batch for the year. The pressure was on. How was I going to use them!?
Sweet? Savory? Pie? Tart? Stuffed with goat cheese, drizzled with honey?
Then I remembered I can always buy more and just do it all.
After being real with myself I decided a tart/pie thing was the way to go because my sweet tooth was raging mad on Tuesday. I was originally thinking of baking a crostada, but my mom insisted I make minis- probably in an attempt to convince my dad the $100 she spent on a mini pie maker was worth it….this is the second time we’ve used it. Anyway, I winged it. **When I say I ‘winged it’ I really mean it. I was flying blind. Some people say they wing it when really they have been making something for years and just don’t need to reference a written recipe anymore. Luckily I was very zen on Tuesday and no one else was in the house to watch me hopelessly stare at the batter wondering if I should add/change any of the ingredients.
I had a box of pie crust [the horror!] in the pantry, and made that as per directions on the back. As I made the filling I snuck the dough in the fridge so it would be easier to work with later.
For the filling I was referencing flavor combinations I came across when I was researching fig recipes online. A lot used almonds and brandy and often combined the figs with berries. I went with the first two since we had them on hand, and mixed it with [what I thought were] typical tart ingredients.
I pulsed 1/2 cup almonds in a food processor until very fine and mixed it with:
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp brandy [no judging]
2 tsp flour
Since the mini pie maker whips up a batch of goodies pretty quickly, I cooked the filling in a small saucepan somewhere in-between 5 and 10 minutes [let’s just go with 7] so it could thicken up a bit before I baked it. After cutting out as many mini crusts as the dough would allow I tucked them into the pie maker and poured the almond mixture overtop. I pressed a few halved figs into the filling, added a drizzle of honey, and closed that sucker until I got the “I’m ready” beep, et voila! Mini almond-fig tarts! [apologies for the bad photos, it was late when I finished baking]
I have to admit- they were a little on the sweet side, which is saying something since I love a good dessert. Actually, I’m still not sure if it was too sweet or if the flavor was too strong- it’s possible I should have added less almonds or brandy… Maybe adjust the sugar? I will definitely be tweaking this recipe a bit- it has potential, the flavor was there. The minis were reminiscent of a pound cake from the ground almonds, and with the flaky crust [the box is legit people!], and the sweet figs- it was overall enjoyable.
Now on to my next fig concoction….