There is a certain fig tree growing along a sometime part of the trail that I ride my bike along on summer mornings that becomes a passionate object of my curiosity each year starting late July. Really it’s an obsession that started several years ago when I stopped and tasted its succulent sweet fruits. This part of the trail also has an abundance of wild blackberry so during the late summer months you can not only get a nice ride in, you can forage a pretty sweet breakfast too. The blackberries are wonderfully sweet and abundant until the scorching days of August when only those fruiting in partial or full shade can survive. It is these times when the hunt for a wild blackberry breakfast on the trail becomes more challenging that the fig tree starts bearing ripe fruit, and this year, much to my delight, it’s loaded. From the look of things from my last couple of visits it doesn’t appear that that many fig aficionados are as interested in it as I am. I can’t say that for another tree that sits along the river road that I have only been able to get one or two ripe figs off of so far and I’m positive it isn’t the birds that have plucked the ripe ones. This situation is upsetting because it’s a fifteen mile round-trip to that particular tree and when the pay off is two figs it’s kinda depressing. It’s not that the ride is awful, it isn’t it’s a beautiful ride, it’s just my expectations are high all the way there. To find two or nothing is not what I call a good pay off.
This morning I needed to go back to the tree along the bike trail to look for the clip to my garage door opener that was missing when I got home. I always carry it clipped to my bike shorts so I can easily open the garage door as I approach the house. I was sure that’s where it had popped off, or maybe that was only my excuse to myself to visit the tree again. So, before I went to the Farmers Market this morning, I headed in the opposite direction, down the river road. First to the fig tree along the road, not to look for the garage door opener clip, to look for figs. No surprise here, there were tons of hard green figs but only two ripe enough to eat, which I did. I guess I should be grateful there were two. Satisfied that there were no figs to be had, I headed back down the road to the tree along the bike path which I know how to also access via a near by country road. I didn’t dare go to the tree first, I went to the area I had put my bike down yesterday and hunted for the garage door opener clip. A through search found nothing but weeds and gravel. My mission, or should I say my excuse for coming complete, I headed straight to the fig tree where I saw lots of ripe juicy figs just waiting for me. I didn’t have anything to put them in but the pockets in my fleece jacket I was wearing so that’s where they went. I ate and picked and stuffed my pockets until they were filled, then popped a few more into my mouth. All of this was accomplished carrying my handy little camera that I had brought along to take a few pics of the figs on the tree. Hands sticky, pockets sticky and stuffed with figs and fig sap adorning my camera I headed back to the car, a very happy girl.
I found this recipe the other day and for the life of me I can’t remember where. A Google search says it’s from Asweetspoonful.com and was published in Sept 2010, so that’s whom I’ll give the credit to. I made a few changes; I cut the amounts in half and I used regular pie dough instead of the pate brisee (which if you have the time would definitely be the better choice). I also used the figs I picked which were not black Mission figs and only sliced the figs in half not in slices and sprinkled the whole galette with turbinado sugar after the crust was brushed with the egg wash. It’s a nice way to celebrate this beautifully delicious fruit but I the way I like them best is straight from the tree, early in the morning.
You can find the recipe: Rustic Fig and Almond Cream Galette here