Dried Fig, Pear and Nut Crostata Click to Play

Dried Fig, Pear and Nut Crostata

Mary Ann Esposito

A crostata is a two-crusted pie. This one is a favorite of my husband, Guy, because it reminds him of another holiday favorite, mincemeat. Pasta frolla (pastry dough) encases a dense filling of dried figs, fresh pears, pine nuts, and candied orange peel. I use tiny Seckel pears in this recipe, but ripe Bosc pears will work too.

PASTRY DOUGH

2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons cold water, or more as needed
FILLING
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 pound dried Calimyrna figs
1 pound pears, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup diced candied orange peel
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon turbinado (coarse brown) sugar

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl or in a food processor, mix the flour, salt, and sugar together. Work in the butter with a pastry blender, or pulse several times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in the yolks and water, or add through the feed tube and pulse to blend, until a ball of dough is formed. If the dough seems dry, add a little more water. Divide the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the pine nuts on a cookie sheet and lightly toast them, about 7 minutes. Watch carefully so they do not burn. Place the pine nuts in a small bowl, and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 425ºF.

Put the figs in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until softened. Drain and let cool.

Remove the stems, cut the figs into small pieces, and place in a large bowl. Add the pears, lemon juice, orange peel, pine nuts, and sugar and toss well. Cover and let marinate while you roll out the dough.

Lightly butter an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. On a floured surface, roll out the larger piece of dough to a 14-inch circle. Fit the dough into the tart pan, and trim off the excess dough. (If the dough tears, simply patch it with the scraps.)

Spread the filling evenly in the tart pan.

Roll the remaining dough into a 12-inch circle. Using a pastry wheel, cut twelve 1/2-inch-wide strips. Make a crisscross or lattice top on the filling with the strips, trim the ends, and pinch the ends to seal. Brush the strips with the milk and sprinkle the turbinado sugar evenly over the top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack, and cut into wedges to serve.

item recipe is featured in Episode 711 of Season 7.

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