Ah yes, the season-less life. Growing up in Hawaii, the weather was one of two states: rainy or not-rainy. And like Anabel's pumpkin latte indicator, imports for sale outside Safeway-- vats of huge pumpkins, pine trees unloaded from Mason shipping containers--were one of the easy ways an islander might discern the time of year. Yet, although the grocery stores stocked the obvious fall and winter merchandise, there were definitely some items that did not make it onto the shelves nor my radar.
I don't believe I had a fig in it's whole fruit form until I was in my 20's. Prior to moving to the pacific northwest, my only encounter with the fruit had been jam preserves and those yellow-wrapped Fig Newtons. These days, I walk past at least 5 fig tress on the evening dog walk route! Indeed, the rain that accompanies fall in Oregon can be dreary, but the harvest at this time of year is pretty glorious!
Armed with my urban foraged figs and a pear from my neighbor's tree, I assessed the contents of our fridge and came up with a darn fine autumnal hand pie. Pair with a cup of fragrant tea and good book for a cozy fall day!
Ps. Next stop on the fall train: PUMPKIN TOWN!!!
Fig & Pear Hand Pie with Bourbon-Maple Walnuts & Goat Cheese
The Pie Crust--
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 Lb butter (cubed)
1 1/4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Chop the butter and place in freezer for approx 15 minutes. In a food processor, add all purpose flour, salt, & sugar, and pulse until thoroughly mixed. Add chilled butter and again pulse until the butter is well mixed. Add approximately 8 tablespoons water, again pulsing food processor until everything is mixed together. Remove dough, divide in half, and form into 2 balls. Set in chilled bowl to keep while making the pie filling.
1 pint figs (or if you want to drop the pear and just do fig, perhaps 1.5 pint figs)*
Half a pear
3 Tbsp goat cheese
1 C walnuts (chopped)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp bourbon
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
*Originally, I wasn't planning to include the pear; however, I found I needed more fruit upon making the pie filling and thus threw some pear into the mix.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place maple syrup, bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, and walnuts in a mixing bowl and stir until nuts are fully coated. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and transfer nuts atop; bake in oven for 7-10 minutes. Remove nuts from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, quarter figs, place in mixing bowl, and toss with juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer figs to a baking sheet and roast in oven (again at 350 degrees) for about 10-15 minutes. Remove figs from oven and return them to the mixing bowl, adding the walnuts, goat cheese, pear, and salt. Mix together and set aside while you roll out crust.
Roll out dough. Here, I used a cereal bowl, approximately 5 inches in diameter, to cut out circles. Add about 2 tablespoons of filling to the center of the circle and fold over, pressing the edges together and sealing with a fork. Cut 2 holes in the center top of each pie.
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.