The moment an inkling of an idea appears in my little brain regarding the possibility of making a pie, or anything requiring a pie crust, I take a stick of butter (one stick for a single crust, two for a double crust), cut it carefully into 1/2-inch cubes, and put it in the freezer. Because that my friends, is the trick to a wonderfully flakey butter crust (along with barely handling). Frozen cubes of butter. Bits of butter that you can easily distinguish when you roll out the dough. When the butter melts while the crust is baking, it forms layers in the dough, layers that result in a flaky crust.
The minute Hank showed up the other day with a bag of beautiful, ripe Mission figs from his tree, the butter went in the freezer. And by the end of the day (dough and pie making happening along with all the other cooking) we had this beautiful rustic pie. These are so easy to make. Roll out the dough, spread on a little jam (we used orange marmalade), arrange some cut figs, sprinkle with sugar, put in the oven. Presto whammo, a beautiful little galette.
I love to make my own pie dough, but not everyone does. Last time I checked Trader Joe's has a pretty decent frozen butter crust available that is folded, and packaged in a box.
- 1 butter pie crust recipe*
- 1 1/2 pounds mission figs, tips cut off and discarded, quartered
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade (or another jam)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
* To make pie dough: Put into a food processor 1 1/3 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar, pulse to combine. Add 4 ounces (1 stick) chilled butter cut into small cubes (cubes best frozen), pulse 9 times, until butter is size of peas. Slowly add 1/4 cup of chilled water, and maybe a little more, pulsing after each addition, until the dough just begins to form clumps. Empty the dough onto a clean surface, form into a ball with minimum handling. Pat down into a disc shape. Chill for at least an hour before rolling out.
1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough to a 14-inch diameter round of even thickness. Place on a parchment or Silpat-lined rimmed baking dish.
2 Spread marmalade on the rolled out dough, leaving a 2-inch border along the edges. Arrange the quartered figs in a circular pattern, again leaving a 2-inch border. Sprinkle sugar over the figs.
3 Fold the 2-inch bordered edge of the crust over the figs, pleating the crust.
4 Place in the middle rack of the oven. Bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and the fruit is bubbly.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.