I love figs, I think mainly because it reminds me of my childhood when I was living in Bordeaux. I remember my little sister and I used to run around my parents beautiful garden, play on the swings and spend the afternoon by the swimming pool.
But what I also remember is the small “potager” (kitchen garden) we had at the back of the property.
And right there in the middle of the hazel and berries trees was growing a blissfully aromatic fig tree. On any given day, I’d walk up and pluck a ripe fig straight off the branch and eat it. They were always sweet and juicy and i just loved them…Aww nostalgia.
And so, with autumn comes the arrival of figs at the market and my heart can’t help but gravitate towards them. Last weekend I bought a large bag of figs and started to think what would be the best way to introduce the figs to my boyfriend.
Dennis had already tasted dried figs before so he definitely was up for trying the fresh version of the fruit but I knew I’d need to be careful towards the way I present it to him because of the texture of the fresh fruit pulp.
And what is a better way than kicking off the tasting course with a crunchy pizza? I don’t know of any men who could say no to that! Thought it would be good to add some melting goat cheese and Serrano ham as well as some honey on top so the figs would slowly caramelise in the oven… YUM!
Unfortunately Dennis was not a huge fan of the fresh figs, as I thought the texture was something he was not expecting. But if you are a figs amateur, go for it, you will love it 😉
Caramelised figs, Serrano ham and goat cheese pizza drizzled with honey and lots of oregano:
Cooking time: 25mins (+1h30 for the dough)
Ingredients for the pizza dough:
– 500gr of white bread flour
– 1tsp sea salt
– 1 x 7gr of dried yeast or 14gr of fresh yeast
– olive oil
– 1tsp golden caster sugar
– 325ml of lukewarm water
Sieve the flour/s and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well.
Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.
Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands – this is called knocking back the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in film, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straight away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas – this amount of dough is enough to make about three medium pizzas.
Ingredients for the topping:
– 6 black mission figs, sliced lengthwise
– mature goat cheese, sliced
– 3 to 4 Serrano ham slices
– arugula leaves
– 1tbsp of cream
– 1tbsp honey
– dried oregano
Preheat your oven to 250C. If you can, cook your pizza on a piece of granite in your oven so remember to preheat it as well. If not , cook your pizza on the bar of the oven shelf towards the bottom of the oven.
Take a piece of the dough, dust your surface and the dough with a little flour, and roll it out into a rough circle about 0,5cm thick.
Now you can apply the topping. Smear you cream evenly over the pizza base. Lay over the sliced goat cheese and figs, then your Serrano ham – you want this to go on last so it goes crispy. Drizzle the toppings with the honey and season with oregano.
Cook for 7 to 10mins, until the pizza is golden and crispy.
Pair this pizza with a Gewürztraminer wine to highlight the figs or a Pinot Gris to bring the sharpness of the goat cheese into prominence.
The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:
The figs pizza was not to my liking unfortunately: the warm figs with their seeds made a strange combination with the ham and cheese. The honey goat cheese & Serrano were good though: strong cheese flavours with a crusty dough is always a good combination.