Technically, summer is still here but, if the craft stores are any indication, fall is right around the corner. August means pumpkin flavors are just starting to rear their heads, Halloween (and Christmas) decorations are showing up, monarch caterpillars will be everywhere and it is the start of fig season. The first place they start showing up is in the warehouse clubs, farmers’ markets and health food stores before the local grocers start following suit. Before you know it, pumpkin spice will REALLY be everywhere (I imagine a snow storm, but instead of snow, it is pumpkin spice falling from the sky), leggings and Uggs will reunite and the days won’t feel like my house is sitting under a giant food lamp.
Now, figs are important to me for a couple different reasons. I had my first fig while my family was visiting my Godparents in California. I remember, my family and I were sitting in the kitchen talking when my dad and Godfather came in. My dad had a boyish grin on his face, he seemed so excited. He explained that while shopping, he had found figs and couldn’t wait for me to try one. I had never heard of figs before but, even as a child, I was willing to try any food once. It was a California black fig and when I bit into it, I noticed how different its sweetness was. It smelled so green and yet it was so sweet and it melted like butter, a texture in fruit that I had never experienced. It had been years since my father had eaten a fig and considering it was (and is) his all-time favorite fruit, this was a little piece of heaven for him. Back in 1997, figs weren’t really sold in the Midwest like they are now, so it was a special treat for a family visit. Now, thankfully, figs are easy to find when fig season begins.
Figs are a very ancient fruit, used by Romans and in the Middle East before trade and travel made the fig’s way around the world. In Cantonese, the term for fig translates to “flowerless fruit.” To me, its sweetness is so intense, it’s reminiscent of a date. Also, because of its bold sweetness not dissimilar to honey, it can be used in both savory and sweet foods. Today, we will use the figs for a dessert and as a good summer to fall transition recipe, I made this Paleo Fig Galette with a Honey Balsamic Glaze.
Paleo Fig Galette:
Sweet Potato Flour
Grassfed Butter or Coconut Oil (Cold & Cubed)
Ripe Figs (Stemmed & Quartered)
Coconut Palm Sugar
Honey Balsamic Glaze:
Coconut Palm Sugar
1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp
1 beaten egg plus 1 tbsp water
2 heaping tbsp
First things first, pick about eight ripe medium sized figs. To tell whether or not they are ripe, you can gently squeeze them. If they are soft to the touch, they are ripe. Wash them gently under cold water, and start off by cutting off the stem and quartering the figs.
After you are done cutting the figs, in a mixing bowl, toss together the figs, lemon zest, coconut palm sugar and ground cardamon. I love the added flavor of the cardamon. It pairs really well with the figs. Set the figs aside and let’s start on the crust.
I used sweet potato flour in this because it adds a bit of extra sweetness to the crust. I made the sweet potato flour by boiling them, dehydrating them and grinding them in a coffee grinder. If that is too much work, they do sell ready-made sweet potato flour (Do not get it mixed up with sweet potato starch).
Start by sifting together the cashew meal, tapioca starch, coconut flour and sweet potato flour. After the flour is thoroughly mixed, pinch the butter together with the flour mixture until it is well incorporated. Now mix in the eggs and the honey until a dough is formed. If you would like, you can also add a pinch of salt to the dough to set off the sweetness. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Preheat your oven to 375°, and on a cookie sheet, sprinkle some tapioca starch on the pan and roll the dough out in a circle about 1/4 inch thick (As if you were making a pizza crust). Put the fig mixture in the middle of the rolled out dough and fold up the edges. If the dough cracks a bit, push it back together. After the galette is assembled, brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle on the sliced almond.
Put the galette in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes. While the galette is baking, in a sauce pan, heat the balsamic vinegar, honey and coconut palm sugar until it is reduced down to a thick glaze. After the galette is finished baking, drizzle on the balsamic glaze. The reason I went with a balsamic glaze is because it adds a little tangy flavor to the dull sweetness of the figs. If you are primal and allow dairy in your diet, you can serve this with either ricotta cheese or a whipped honey mascarpone cheese. Enjoy!