Rosie’s Recipes: The figalicious days of summer

By on August 23, 2018

July through August finds me coming up with all sorts of fig recipes to accommodate the deluge of figs from my prolific trees.

I’ve made fig ice cream, fig newtons, sticky figgy buns, fig sauce, fig tarts, and all manner of fig appetizers, but I think my all-time favorite is my “figcaccia,” a focaccia with figs.

It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

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Start out with a basic pizza dough.

Rosie’s Dough
1/2 cup warm water
1 package yeast
Sprinkling of sugar
1 – 1 ½ cups bread flour
½ tsp kosher salt

To the water, add the yeast and sprinkle a light layer of sugar on top. Let the yeast “proof.” This means it “proves” it’s alive by eating the sugar and emitting carbon dioxide and alcohol. In other words, it gets all poofy and foamy. It’s working!

Gradually fork in about a cup of the flour and the salt until you get a shaggy ball of dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough, adding more flour as needed to keep from sticking, until you get a nice cohesive, elastic ball.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat, cover, and let rise until doubled in size. Turn dough onto lightly oiled pan (I use a baking sheet without sides so I can slide it off onto the pizza stone.) and start pressing from the center outward to form the base. Take your time doing this. Press out and let the dough rest a bit. Then press and rest some more. When you’ve pressed the dough out enough (about a 10-inch diameter round), drizzle it with some extra virgin olive oil and let it rise until doubled.

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Heat the oven to 500° and if you have a pizza stone, use it. Allow the stone to heat at 500° for at least 30 minutes. A pizza stone will give you that nice, crisp crust.

Rosie’s Figcaccia
4 oz. blue cheese, softened
4 oz. chèvre cheese (goat cheese), softened
1 onion, peeled, sliced, and caramelized, if you like
6-8 figs, sliced
Fresh rosemary
Brie cheese
Grated mozzarella
Wildflower honey
Extra virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, mash together the softened blue and chèvre cheeses. Now, if you’re undecided on blue cheese, I recommend starting out with Cambozola. I call it a “gateway blue,” as it just might convert an unbeliever. Cambozola is a combination of a camembert-style cheese and gorgonzola. You’ll get the nutty, buttery, mushroomy brie quality with a subtle hint of blue. Consider it the bunny slope of blues.

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You can use the onion slices raw, but caramelizing the onions gives you another dimension of flavor.
To caramelize the onion, melt a tablespoon of butter with a little oil in a medium skillet over medium low heat. Add in the onion slices with a pinch of kosher salt and a pinch of sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slices start to brown. Take your time doing this, allowing the natural sugars in the onion to caramelize, resulting in an intensely flavorful concoction. Remove from heat.

Assemble your fig pie:
Spread the softened bleu and chèvre cheeses evenly over the dough. Top with raw or caramelized onions, as many sliced figs as you like, a sprinkling of fresh rosemary, and a dab of brie cheese on top of each fig. Add some grated mozzarella, a light drizzling of honey and extra virgin olive oil, and you’re good to go.

Set the pan on top of the pizza stone and bake for 3 minutes. Rotate pan and bake another 3 minutes. Slide dough off pan and onto pizza stone and cook for another 6 minutes or until top and crust are lightly browned.

If you don’t have a pizza stone, just set the pan in the oven and bake until top is golden – about 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

For more recipes, please visit with Rosie at www.KitchensAreMonkeyBusiness.com. For any culinary questions, feel free to e-me at RosieHawthorne@gmail.com. Bon appétit!

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