It has been almost three weeks since we returned from India and I cannot believe that I haven’t made any desserts yet. I have chocolate bars in the pantry, cream cheese and mascarpone in the fridge and enough butter and sugar to make pretty much anything I want, and yet, I haven’t. I am a little astonished at my own self restraint!
This is not to say that I haven’t had any sweets; I single-handedly polished off an entire kilo (just over 2lbs) of kaju barfi (cashew fudge) that I had brought over from India and had more than my fair share of Halloween candies. (It didn’t help that we live in an old fogey neighborhood, which meant that very few kids showed up at our door, making just the tiniest dent in the gigantic stash of candies that we had bought for Halloween). The number of empty candy wrappers accumulating in my room was getting positively embarrassing, when The Professor decided to take the bulk of the candy to school and give them away to his students. Spoilsport!
So now there is no candy in the house; not a single piece of cake or pie, nor a morsel of cookie or brownie. Please believe me when I say that this situation is entirely new to me and I am utterly m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e!. All I can do now is look at pictures of dessert I made before I left for India (and I had made quite a few) and drool, and wish I had the foresight to save a few pieces in the freezer.
These fig turnovers or hand pies, as you may call them, were a hit in my house when I made them a few weeks ago. Figs have such a short season, I tend to go overboard when I see them at the store and buy way more than I should. But they look so pretty, how you can not buy a bunch? And they taste positively divine, so I am more than happy to stock up!
This was the first time I actually tried to make the pastry look good – I crimped the edges, cut little vents on top to let the steam out, put on egg wash and sprinkled raw sugar on top for a crunchy, sparkly effect, just like I had seen on TV a hundred times. The extra effort was so worth it! This batch of pastry was by far the most professional looking one I had ever churned out in my kitchen!
Fig has steadily become one of my favorite fruits to work with – it is so versatile both in sweet and savory preparations! Since they pair so well with cheese, I stuffed the turnover with my all time favorite fromage, Brie, which oozed and melted into the most delightful pools inside the puff pastry. And since I love a little crunch in my dessert, I also scattered some pecans. Figs, Brie and pecans, all cocooned in a buttery, flaky puff pastry package – what more could you want out of a sweet ending to a meal?
Although these look as if they came straight out of a bakery, they are surprisingly easy to make! Let me tell you how I made these. Here is the recipe –
I made my own fig jam after looking up a few recipes online and it was super easy to make! I just threw together some figs, honey and lemon juice in a pot and simmered it until it was thick and jammy! You will not believe how incredibly delicious it was! I had made quite a big batch of the jam, so we had it on crackers, in these turnovers and I used up the last bit to make a fabulous braised pork in a fig and red wine sauce! Want to know the recipe for that? Stay tuned!