Depending on where you live, this galette may serve to be either a blessing or a curse to you. If you are in a part of the world where there are aggressively defined seasons, the figs needed to make this galette will most likely be out of your reach until the arrival of next year’s summer. Here in the Pacific Northwest, where we can sometimes harvest tomatoes and beans into October, but oftentimes not taste fresh local corn until the summer is nearly over, you will still be able to find fresh figs. You may have to hunt a bit, and you may be straddling the point in a fig’s life that separates it from being perfectly ripe and perfectly rotten, but figs can still be found.
These figs arrived at our front door, via a neighbor’s backyard tree. Remember when I spoke of how much I cherish the pawning off of bushels of backyard zucchini? Well, I feel exactly the same way about being given excess figs. To be perfectly candid, I feel this way about being given excess anything that hails from a nearby garden—vegetables, fruit, compost, you name it. I am not picky when it comes to this particular arena.
I made this tart as a way to say thank you to the people to gifted me the figs. It seemed only fitting to turn around and share the figs in return, albeit in different form. As a lover of all things tart-and-galette, I felt like the only way to truly make these figs into a personalized gift was to fold them into a familiar form. My all-time favorite flakey crust (a must have for dishes both savory and sweet) serves as a base for rich, lemony chèvre that has been touched with just the slightest bit of honey. The figs, being incredibly ripe, need no doctoring whatsoever. Baked together in a slow oven, the figs release their juice, bubbling together with the softened goat cheese and perfect crust. You can serve this galette as a simple dessert, adorned with just a spoonful of honey sweetened cream, or as a main course, accompanied by a salad and perhaps a bit of salume and a slip of bread. I’ll be honest: I ate in while standing in my kitchen, swiping crumbs off of a table, and I enjoyed it immensely.
Lemon Chèvre and Fresh Fig Galette
4 ounces chèvre, at room temperature
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon, about ½ teaspoon total
2 teaspoons honey
pinch of salt
6 large fresh figs, each fig cut into quarters or sixths
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out crust into a roughly 13-inch circle.
In a small bowl combine chèvre, lemon zest, honey, and pinch of salt. Mix together, then use a spoon to spread the mixture onto the rolled out pastry crust, leaving clear a 2-inch border at the edges. Place sliced figs, cut side up, in a single layer over the chèvre, arranging in somewhat of a concentric circle. Gently fold in the edges of the pastry towards the center, overlapping the folds where necessary.
Place the galette onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the figs are bubbly and the pastry crust is golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8 people.