My Super Easy Fig Pie with the Five-Minute Pie Crust
This might just be my most bizarre post to date. Today I'm writing about a plant that is both food and fashion statement. And the star of the show is... the fig. First of all, did you know that the fruit we call fig is really a hollow-ended stem with ingrown flowers? Really!
This all started when Travel Chic Dad started foraging wild figs on his bike commute home since mid-August. California is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, and several fig trees in our neighborhood spew out these delicious little purple parcels in abundance. For the last few weeks, we've been eating these foraged goods non-stop, and we've been churning out fig preserves and fig jams with our cast-iron cocotte (whose many merits I've discussed in this post).
The smell of fig trees in late summer is pure romance. The intoxicating combination of warm barks, palm-shaped green leaves, and the smell of the ripe, purple bulbs all twirl into an innocent yet carnal scent. It reminds me of a weekend in the South of France or a stroll through the fruit aisles in Istanbul. The scent of fig trees is warm, fragrant, and full of magic, it's the essence of a summer well-spent.
Many luxury and fashion boutiques employ this scent in-store as a way to conjure up the positive emotions associated with it. One of the industry favorites, also the signature smell of the Parisian cult fashion store, Colette, is Diptyque's Figuier (fig tree in French). Trust me, once you get to know this smell, you'll recognize it in many high-end stores. If you're visiting Paris, I highly recommend popping into the original Diptyque store at 34 boulevard Saint Germain: you'll be in the heart of the bohemian left bank, and you'll have an unforgettable olfactory journey in a parfumeur's magical den.
But I digress.
So we've been eating a whole lot of fresh, ripe figs, and we've been cooking the slightly riper ones to keep them as preserves and jams. Yet one can only eat so many figs and spread so much fig jams before craving other ways to consume them. I made up this super easy fig pie as a dessert for a party the other day, and at a lovely lady's request, here's the recipe.
* Please know that my recipes are usually very free-styled and nontechnical. I enjoy the fun of throwing fresh, good ingredients together, and since the ingredients are good, the tastes usually come out rather pleasant, despite my lack of culinary skill or precision.
Melody's Easy Lazy Fig Pie
Pie dough (shortcrust or pâte brisée)
- 1 stick (113g) of butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup (160g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup (~80ml) water
- 2 lbs/1 kg fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
- 1 tablespoon of fig jam (or any jam)
- 1 knob of butter, shaved into petals
- Sugar to taste (optional)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Put the softened butter, flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Knead with your hands until well-combined but still flaky, then pour in the water in a gentle stream and keep kneading until the dough has the consistency of a soft, slightly elastic ball. This should take no more than 5 minutes, and it will taste much better than store-bought frozen pie crusts.
- Divide the dough into two parts, one slightly bigger than the other (6:4). Roll out the bigger one into a disc and line it on the bottom of your pie dish; there should be ample edge draping all around. Roll out the smaller dough into a smaller disc the size of the bottom of the pie dish, set aside.
- Brush the bottom of the pie crust with the fig jam. Put the quartered fig chunks inside the pie, shave off petals of butter over the figs, then sprinkle some sugar on top. (Butter and sugar, they make everything better.)
- Cover the filling with the smaller disc of pie dough, then roll the bottom dough disc draping inward to enclose the filling and form the edge. Use a knife to cut several slits on the top crust for ventilation, then press markings all around the crust edge. Finally, use a pastry brush to spread the egg wash all over the crust.
- Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden.
Bonus: since I only used a tiny bit of the egg wash, the rest was made into an omelette to hold down my toddlers' raging appetites while we waited for the pie. What do people do with the extra egg wash, I've often wondered...
And what do figs have to do with the world's oldest fashion statement, you might ask?
You'll have to look up Genesis 3:7 and check out what Adam and Eve did with fig leaves.