Updated: Aug 26, 2021
This recipe came into being for a few reasons (quick link). One, because our figs trees are finally producing (so many!) figs within the tiny confines of our Baltimore rowhome backyard. Two, I had some leftover ricotta from a pizza night. And three, you can't look anywhere these days without seeing a galette recipe. There are perfectly good reasons for this; they are not too fussy to make, they are delicious, and like a lot of things we love here they basically give us a blank canvas. The work versus reward ratio is high. Galettes can be sweet or savory. They can accommodate all seasons.
I realize that fresh figs may be hard to come by. If you can't find them, you can sub out the figs for an equal amount of thinly sliced apples or pears (about 1 large). The crust portion of this recipe has been adapted from a recipe by Samantha Seneviratne, with cinnamon added to the dry mix. This is a great recipe to do in stages, with the first two steps being done anywhere from 1 hour to 3 days before the last two.
1 cup all-purpose flour (130 g)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (60 g)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
10 tablespoons cold butter (140 g)
4 tablespoons ice water
egg white for wash
turbinado sugar, for sanding
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine kosher salt
9-10 fresh figs, sliced into 1/4" thick slices
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1---Add the dry pastry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse once to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse a few times until the mix resembles coarse sand. Alternate adding one tablespoon of ice water and pulsing for 1-2 seconds. Pulse quickly a few extra times if needed for it to come together. Empty the bowl onto a piece of plastic wrap and using the wrap (so as not to warm the dough and melt the butter) form it into a disc about 5-6 inches wide. Wrap completely and refrigerate for 1 hour - 3 days.
2---Prepare the ricotta. If using home made or fresh ricotta that comes in a straining container, it likely does not need the straining step since it will have lost much of its water. If using easier to find store-bought ricotta, mix it with the sugar and salt and wrap in a cheesecloth. Tie it to a bowl with a handle and let it sit in the fridge with dough. The ricotta will have let off most of its liquid after a couple of hours. You can also speed this up by squeezing it in the cloth. Once strained of excess water, put the ricotta between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll out into an 8 inch disc. Wrap completely, set on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
3---Place the brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan. Dust flour onto a sheet of parchment on your work surface. Place cold pastry dough on top and dust with flour. Give it a few good whacks with a rolling pin to start the flattening process. Put a little force into it while you roll the dough into a circle about 12-13 inches in diameter. Next, remove the frozen ricotta disc, unwrap, and place in center of dough. Drizzle with honey. Arrange the sliced figs in concentric circles beginning with the outer perimeter and working your way in. Turn the heat to medium-low on the small sauce pan containing the butter and brown sugar, and whisk as it heats up and melts until a caramel texture forms, about 2 minutes. Spoon this in a crisscross pattern over the figs. Fold up the sides of the pastry (it'll look rustic), transfer the pasty and parchment to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4---Remove galette from fridge, brush the sides with egg white (you can use a beaten egg but I tend to have egg whites on hand) and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 40 minutes. If it leaks a little, that's okay, it happens. Slide parchment and galette onto a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes before enjoying. Pairs well with vanilla ice cream.