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Fig Sweet-Dough Pie

Makes one 8-inch pie

Find this recipe and more in Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen.

¼ pound (1 stick) + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, in all
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup + 2 tablespoons water, in all
2 (17 ounce) jars whole figs, in heavy soup
½ unpeeled lemon, very thinly sliced and seeded
1 tablespoon margarine
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1¼ cups + 3 tablespoons sugar, in all
½ large unpeeled orange, very thinly sliced and seeded
7 tablespoons cornstarch
how to prepare

In a 1-quart saucepan melt 5 tablespoons of the butter with the margarine and set aside.

In a medium-size bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In another medium-size bowl beat the egg, egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the water vigorously with a metal whisk until frothy, about 30 seconds.  Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the sugar until dissolved.  Very gradually add the hot butter mixture to the egg mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly.  Gradually stir all but about ¼ cup of the flour mixture into the egg mixture, stirring until the flour is mixed in well; continue mixing 2 minutes more.  Place the dough on a surface floured with the remaining ¼ cup flour mixture and knead 1 minute, working in all the flour.  Let dough rest on board.

Meanwhile, drain as much syrup as possible from the figs into a 2-quart saucepan.  Add the orange and lemon slices and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining ½ cup water and stir into the boiling fig syrup mixture; return to a boil and stir in the remaining 1¼ cups sugar.  Cook about 1 minute more, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and add half the drained figs; transfer mixture to a food processor and process a few seconds until citrus skins are minced.  Return purée to the saucepan.  Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and whisk until melted.  Add the remaining figs and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and keeping figs intact as much as possible.  Remove from heat and let cook slightly, then refrigerate until lukewarm, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut dough in two so that one portion is slightly larger.  Form the larger portion of dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface and roll it out about 4 times (once or twice in each direction).  Form dough into a ball again, reflour board lightly, and repeat rolling-out procedure.  Re-form dough into a ball, flour board once more, and roll out dough about

inch thick.  Place an 8-inch round cake pan (1½ inches deep) on top and cut the dough out, leaving a 1½  inch border.  Lightly flour top of dough and fold in quarters.  Carefully place in the ungreased cake pan, with the corner of the folded dough centered.  Unfold and line the bottom and sides with the dough, pressing gently into place; trim edges.  Use scraps to patch any tears in the dough.  Refrigerate prepared pie shell and other half of the dough until ready to use.

Pour cooled fig mixture into the prepared pie shell, filling the shell up to about ¼ inch form the top; arrange figs evenly within the filling.  (Leftover filling is great to eat while pie is baking; this was my lagniappe from my mother for helping her make the pie.  It's also good frozen like sherbet.)

On a floured surface roll out the other piece of dough about inch thick.  Cut 5 strips (about

¾ inch wide) and place across the pie in one direction; cut 4 to 6 more strips and crisscross on top of the other strips.  (I leave these strips roughly cut and sized because that's the way we did it at home when I was a boy.)

Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.  Then increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake until crust is dark golden brown, about 55 minutes more.  Cool at room temperature until filling is firm, about 2 hours.

Copyright © 1984 by Paul Prudhomme

Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen

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