Crostata di Marmellata di Fichi

It all started with a jar of jam. A beautiful, urn-like, Costco-sized jug really, filled with sparkling fig jam. Fig is my favorite, next to apricot, and the best brand is Tuna’s (which Caravan stopped carrying!) I was so sad until that moment in Costco. That is, until I got home.
Because, you see, this gorgeous golden Greek jug of hope held a horrible, horrible secret that only revealed itself when you took your first bite. Vanilla. They put FUCKING VANILLA in the jam. It tasted like my father’s pipe tobacco smelled. So, great. Now I had a Costco-sized jug of inedible fig jam taking up precious refrigerator space. And it stayed there for several months while I decided what to do. Then it occurred to me: crostata di mamellata!! Of course. Found a nice nonna recipe on The YouTube. It used oil and eggs in the crust – intriguing! I tried it and took it in to the office. It was lovely, and consumed with glee.

But overall the feedback was that it was too sweet – I’d made the layer of jam too thick. Everyone loved the vanilla now that it was in a tarte. I thought the crust needed a pinch of salt, and would taste better with butter than oil. General consensus was that it tasted like a giant fig newton. I’m cool with that. And realized essentially this is like those stained glass cookies you make for the winter holidays.

Fast forward to Saturday morning, time to try those adaptations. This time the dough mixed in the food processor, and I used melted butter instead of the oil. I thought this was a good idea. Oh, lawdee lawdee lawd. Do not ever do this. Ever. For reals. Learn from my pain. What an awful, greasy glob it made. I hoped by putting it back in the fridge for an hour, it would become useable. It was. Whew, dodged that bullet.

For the sweetness, the second batch which (THANK GAWD) finally ends that damn jar of fig jam, I stirred in the juice of one lemon. That did the trick, and balanced out the sweetness nicely. If I could do dairy, a dollop of mascarpone or plain Greek yogurt would be absolute heaven on this puppy.

The next time I make this, I will use either apricot or bosenberry jam. And I shall feast, betches!

Let’s make this – and I hope you check out the nonna video – I love the Italian technique, whether it is pasta for noodles or for pastry you beat that egg then slowly add in the flour. With your damn hand, dammit. Because centuries of practice going back to the Roman Empire cannot be wrong.

Crostata di marmellata
2 eggs, beaten
½ c. butter, cool-ish
½ c. sugar
1 tsp bkp pwd
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp. salt
2 c. AP Flour
sparkle sugar
Filling: a jar of jam (about 1.5-2c)

Set aside 2Tbsp. of the egg. Preheat your oven to 350*. In the bowl of your food processor, put the dry ingredients and briefly pulse to combine them. Add the butter, pulse til it looks like fine crumbs. Add the liquid, and pulse again to combine.
You will wind up with a crumbly mass. Turn it out on your floured board and gently knead a few times. Cut off 1/3 and set it aside. Roll out the larger piece to fit the bottom and sides of your pan(s). Fit it in the pan and trim the edges. Roll out the remaining dough to the same thickness (about 1/4″) in a big rectangle-ish shape and using a swirly-edged pasta cutter, slice it in to ½” wide strips. place these in the lattice style of your choice on top of the jam, and pinch them in to the dough at the edge. You’ll have many strips left. When that is done, smoosh down the dough at the sides of the pan with your finger, it should be about ¼” higher than the jam. Take the remaining strips and place them around the circumference. Gently brush all the dough with the reserved beaten egg, and sprinkle with the sparkle (or normal, or turbinado) sugar.
Bake 350* for 40m. Cool completely before slicing. Then have with your afternoon caffe with the neighbors.

Fig Orange Scones with Toasted Hazelnuts

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What’s this? A scone post on the Yum? Inconceivable!

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I was wondering how this flavor combination would work, so thought we’d give it a whirl.

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The answer? Delicious.

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 Honestly, if I make these again I think I’ll soak the fig slices for a few minutes in some warm water with the spices, orange zest and vanilla.  Himself said, “What?! Not brandy?” But the fact that he’s a smart ass is why I love him.

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Autumn is coming. Time for some scones. 

For the wet
1 ¼ c buttermilk
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
For the dry
3 c flour
3/8 c sugar
1.5 sticks butter
2 tsp bkg pwd
¾ tsp bkg soda
1/2 tsp salt
For the fruit
1 c. cut dried black fibgs, quarterd and tossed with
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
zest of half an orange
For the glaze
2 c pwd sugar
zest of half an orange
juice of 1 orange
For the topping
1 c. chopped toasted hazelnuts
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375*.
Line a cookie tray with parchment.
Flour your work surface.
In a small bowl, whisk together the wet.
In a larger bowl, mix the dry.
Cut in the butter to the dry ingredients. A pastry cutter will yield a flakier scone; a food processor or mixer will yield a cakier one.
Add the fruit.
Barely combine the wet in to the dry/fruit mixture.
Turn contents on to floured board and gently, just barely knead it to a dough.
Split dough, shape each half half in to a 7″ disc about 1″ high.
With a sharp, floured knife, slice each disc in to 8 or so wedges.
Place the scones about 1″ apart on the lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20mins, until golden.
While baking, whisk together the glaze.
*Immediately* after removing the scones from the oven, brush them with 1/2 the glaze.
Allow them to mostly cool, then brush with the second layer of glaze and immediately top with the chopped nuts.
Notes
(if I do this again, I want to soak the fig slices in warm water with the spices, vanilla & some orange)

serves 18
calories 312
fat 13
cholesterol 32mg
sodium 138mg
carbs 46g
-fiber 2g
-sugars 28g
protein 4g