It’s always nice to bake with ingredients from your neighborhood, so when In Erika’s Kitchen blogger Erika Penzer Kerekes wants to make Fig Goat Cheese Pie with Rosemary and Meyer Lemon, she picks figs behind a nearby storefront. (She emphasized that she has the owner’s permission.)
Kerekes made this pie for KCRW’s Good Food Pie Contest in 2010. Read below for the recipe, and click here to enter YOUR delicious pie (or pies) in this year’s competition. It’s our fourth annual contest, and it’s on Saturday, September 8th at LACMA.
2 lbs fresh figs
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw sugar, divided
zest and juice of 1 large or 2 small Meyer lemons
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp heavy cream
8 ounces fresh goat cheese
Make the fig compote: De-stem and roughly chop 1 pound of the figs. Put them in a saucepan with 1/3 cup of the raw sugar, half the Meyer lemon zest, half the Meyer lemon juice, and 1 tsp rosemary. Stir and let sit at room temperature about 30 minutes; the sugar will draw out the juices from the fruit and create a syrup. Put the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat (otherwise the compote will burn) and simmer the fig mixture until the fruit is soft and the juices have thickened, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
While the compote is simmering, broil the figs for the top of the pie: Preheat the broiler on high. Cut the rest of the figs in half vertically, lay them on a baking sheet cut side up, and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of the raw sugar. Broil about 5 minutes, until the fruit is starting to brown around the edges and looks slightly shriveled. This time is approximate – it will depend on how juicy or dry your figs are when you start. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Set the broiled figs aside to cool, and turn the oven to 400 degrees.
Make the crust: In your pie plate, combine the flour, remaining 1 tsp raw sugar, remaining 1 tsp rosemary, and salt with a fork. In a measuring cup, stir together the olive oil and 1/3 cup cream with the same fork. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture in the pie plate and bring them together with the fork until they are just combined and clump together. Now use your fingers to press the dough over the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Don’t worry if the edges look rough; that’s okay, even desirable. Line the dough with foil and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust about 20 minutes, until the edges are starting to color. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside for a few minutes to cool a little.
While the crust is pre-baking: Mix the goat cheese, eggs, 3 Tbsp cream, remaining lemon zest, and remaining lemon juice in a bowl until smooth. You’ll have to work it a bit to get the goat cheese loosened up. The goat cheese mixture should have the texture of thick whipped cream – not quite pourable, but definitely spreadable.
Now assemble the pie: Spread the compote on the bottom of the crust about an inch thick (you may have leftover compote, which is a good thing, because it’s outrageous over vanilla ice cream). Pour the goat cheese mixture over the compote and spread it smoothly with a spatula. Arrange the broiled fig halves cut side up over the custard in whatever pattern you like, or no pattern at all – just because I was feeling structured that day doesn’t mean you have to.
Bake the pie: At 400 degrees about 45 minutes, or until the goat cheese custard is set and the figs on top look caramelized. Let cool thoroughly before serving.