Lactose Free Mascarpone and Fig filled Pastry

Andrea
13 Sep, 2020
Mascarpone and Fig Filled Pastry

Good news, fresh fig season is here! They are in season from August through early October. Figs are one of my favorite fruits. Figs are great for appetizer, wrap figs in slices of prosciutto, stuff them with goat or blue cheese to eat raw or grilled and baked. Have you already tried my baked fig with prosciutto di parma with Scotch? Figs are delicious in a sauce with duck or pork chops too. And for fine dessert like this what I made with mascarpone and honey.

 

Buying the Perfect Fig

Botanically, the fig is not a fruit at all, but an inverted flower. Generally, it is not easy to buy fresh, ripe, perfect quality figs in the Netherlands. The biggest problem is the undercooling in the stores. And then it deteriorates very quickly at room temperature, because it doesn’t like the high temperature difference. Figs are most flavorful at room temperature. I was very lucky, because I could find perfect figs in my favorite small grocery.

 

The History of Figs

Figs are native to the Middle East and Western Asia. But it is grown throughout temperate world and the Mediterranean climates. It has been cultivated since ancient times. It was widespread in ancient Greece, a common food source for Romans. The first fig trees were introduced in London in the 16th century and Spanish missionaries brought them to California in the 18th century.

Figs have a history, they play an important role in religions, mythology and art. Figs were mentioned in the Quran, and Adam and Eve clad themselves with fig leaves. This biblical quote “each man under his own vine and fig tree” has been used to denote peace and prosperity. Figs often appear in art as well.

Fall of Man by Titian, around 1550

Adam by Tullio Lombardo, ca.1490

I hope you get to enjoy this fig season and try out one of our recipes.


Lactose Free Mascarpone and Fig filled Pastry

Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Chill Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • hand mixer

Ingredients

Gluten Free Crust

  • 150 gram blanched almond flour
  • 45 gram tapioca flour
  • 30 gram cold butter or ghee if you eat lactose free
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tbsp ice cold water

Fruits & Cream Filling

  • 500 gram lactose free mascarpone cheese
  • 100 ml lactose free whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp Marsala dessert wine or Hungarian Tokaji Aszu
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 pcs fresh fig cut in six
  • 8 pcs strawberry quartered
  • 20 gram pistachio nuts roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Make the crust base first. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Mix the almond flour, tapioca and salt in a big bowl.
  • Add the cold butter and crumble with the flour, mix very quickly by hand until it's roughly the size of peas. You have to work fast as to not overwork the dough.
  • Add egg and mix quickly until combined.
  • Add the ice-cold water and knead the dough into a ball.
  • Sprinkle the dough with a bit of tapioca flour and slightly push it in. Place the dough between two pieces of baking papers.
  • Roll it out into a bit bigger circle than your pie dish.
  • Grease a 4 cm deep and 21 cm round loose-bottomed pie dish with a bit of butter (ghee or coconut oil) and sprinkle with tapioca flour.
  • Transfer the dough to the prepared pie dish. It's not easy but do not worry if the dough breaks or tears, you can push the dough back together by hand into the dish. Press the dough up the sides of the pan too.
  • Lay one piece of baking paper to the top of the dough and fill with dry beans or pie weights. I use ceramic pie weights. The pie weights ensure the dough doesn't rise while baking.
  • Bake it for 10 minutes. This process is called blind-baking.
  • Remove the pie weights and the baking paper, and bake it for another 8-10 minutes then remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • While the crust base cools, prepare the filling. Whisk the whipping cream with hand mixer until medium peaks form.
  • Put the lactose free mascarpone, Marsala wine or Tokaji Aszu, 4 tbsp honey and 1 pinch salt into a bowl and whisk together by hand.
  • Add whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture and stir very gently.
  • Place the cold crust base to the serving plate and fill with the mascarpone mixture.
  • Arrange the quartered fig (I cut in six, because my figs were big) and strawberry on top.
  • Sprinkle roughly chopped pistachios to the top and drizzle over with 2 tbsp honey.
  • Put the fig cake into the fridge to cool at least 1 hour before serving.