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Fresh Fig and Almond Crostata

August 18, 2014

Meet crostata: pie’s low-maintenance younger sister, who’s every bit as worthy of your attention. In this version, a tender almond filling and a buttery crust — both quickly blended in the food processor — complement delectable figs. The crostata is especially good warm.

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The prettiest fresh figs aren’t always the tastiest. Perfectly ripe figs, which are plump and tender (but never mushy), are often slightly cracked, with a bit of “honey” forming at the stem. They’re highly perishable, so use them right away, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

For the Dough
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pound ripe fresh figs (about 16), stemmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Make dough: In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water; pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, gradually add up to 2 tablespoons more water). Do not overmix. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days).

2. Make filling: In food processor, combine almonds and sugar; process until finely ground. Add 1 egg, butter, flour, vanilla, and salt; pulse until smooth, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine figs and lemon juice; set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a large lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough to a 14-inch round. Spread almond filling in center, leaving a 2-inch border; top with fig mixture. Fold border over edge of filling, pleating all around; press down gently to seal. In a small bowl, mix remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water; brush dough with egg wash.

4. Lifting edges of parchment, transfer crostata to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool on baking sheet at least 30 minutes. To serve, cut crostata into wedges.

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