Do you guys remember fig newtons? I loved them as a kid, along with everything else that contained sugar, but I haven’t had a fig newton in ages. These mini fig and walnut galettes brought back a few speckles of fig newton memories, in a much more grown up and a less yucky-processed-cookie kind of way. Before you lose all faith in my recipe development abilities, I just want to clarify that fig newtons were NOT the inspiration for these galettes, but this book was.
I may be an old lady at heart, but I love dried fruit, especially figs! I don’t eat them on their own (at least not yet), but when they’re worked into a pastry of some sort – SO GOOD! These little galettes are a result of stumbling on the dried fig section in the Vegetarian Flavor Bible. I’ll be talking about this amazing book a lot more in my next post (more intuitive cooking coming at ya!), but for now I just wanted to say that the genius idea of pairing dried figs with walnuts, thyme, and lemon zest wasn’t all my doing. Just giving some credit where it’s due ;-)
The delicious figgy filling is wrapped in a flaky rye crust, and I have to tell you that this crust recipe is for keeps. I first made it many years ago in a French Farmhouse Cooking class, and have since played with it quite a bit. I usually make a straight-up spelt crust, but have tried adding flax seeds, ground nuts, gluten-free flours, and spices as well, with great results. For this recipe, a simple light rye crust is great, but feel free to use your own recipe or make adjustments to mine if you’re comfortable.
My best tip for a super flaky crust? Watch this video. The ingredients and proportions in my recipe are a little bit different, but the process is quite similar. The main two takeaways: use a food processor and freeze your butter!
P.S – While a little overdue, my monthly “Behind the Scenes” newsletter is going out on Wednesday! This month I’m getting down to the core of why I started blogging, talking about how the first few months have been, and what my plans are going forward. If you’re interested and haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so here and make sure to check off the “Behind the Scenes” box.
- 2.5 cups of light rye flour + more for rolling out the dough
- 1 cup of butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. coconut or brown sugar
- 1/4 to 3/4 of a cup of ice water
- 2 cups of dried black mission figs, stems removed
- 1 cup of raw walnuts
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves + more for garnishing
- 1 Tbsp. honey + more for drizzling
- 1/4 cup of crumbled goat’s cheese
- To make the crust: Freeze the butter for at least 30 minutes.
- Combine flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor and pulse a few times until combined.
- Add the frozen butter cubes. Run the food processor and slowly add 1/4 cup of the water while it’s running. Stop the food processor, scrape the sides with a spatula, and pulse a few times. If the there’s still a lot of flour and the dough is too dry, repeat the process, adding a few tablespoons of water at a time, until you see it start coming together. It should still be fairly crumbly when ready, but the potential of it coming together without excess flour is what you’re looking for. The total amount of water will depend on the flour that you use and will usually range between 1/4 and 3/4 of a cup.
- Once the dough is moist enough to come together, dump it out on a well floured surface and collect the bits to form a dough clump. Knead it once or twice, just to bring it all together into a solid mass, then divide into two balls and flatten them into 1 inch discs. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, for up to a few days, or freeze for longer. Makes 2 portions - use half for the galettes and freeze the rest for next time.
- To make the galettes: Preheat the oven to 375°F
- In a food processor, combine figs, walnuts, lemon juice + zest, thyme, and honey. Process until a paste forms and set aside.
- If the dough was frozen, defrost it ahead of time, otherwise roll out refrigerated dough until it’s about 1/8th of an inch thick, or slightly thinner if you can.
- Use the rim of a bowl to cut out circles, about 5 inches in diameter. Collect the scraps, knead them once or twice, roll them out again and continue cutting out circles. Repeat this a few more times, until most of the dough is used up. The flakiest galettes will be the ones from the first batch, so try to minimize the scraps.
- Count the number of circles you have (I had 6 with some leftover dough) and divide the fig and walnut paste accordingly to equally fill each galette. Use your hands to roll the paste into balls, then flatten them into discs. Position one disc in the center of each crust circle, then sprinkle with goat’s cheese. Fold the ends over the filling, overlapping, to form mini galettes.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust looks a little puffy and golden.
- Remove galettes from the oven, drizzle with a little bit of honey, and garnish with fresh thyme leaves.