Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2018) and taken from a book called Feasting.
Figs are believed to have originated in the Middle East and have a strong presence in the Bible. Showcase their sweet flavour and luxurious texture in this rustic crostata.
240g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
80g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
120g cold butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
8 fresh figs, sliced in half lengthways
1 egg beaten, for glazing
Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
2 rosemary sprigs
3 egg yolks
70g caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
Step One: Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of cold water, and blitz again until the dough comes together. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball, then flatten slightly. Wrap in cling-film and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Step Two: Preheat the oven to 200oC / 400oF / Gas Mark 6. Roll out the dough into a large circle with a 30cm diameter. Line a baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle one third of the semolina on top. Put the dough on top of the semolina and sprinkle the rest of the semolina on top of the dough.
Step Three: Arrange the figs on top of the pastry in an inner circle with a diameter of about 20cm. You should be left with a 10cm ring of pastry around the fruit. Fold up the edges of the pastry over the fruit. Glaze the pastry flap with the beaten egg and place in the oven to bake for 50 minutes.
Step Four: While the crostata is baking, make the rosemary custard. Pour the milk into a large saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the rosemary sprigs and warm through to infuse for 5-10 minutes.
Step Five: In a bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornflour to form a paste. When the milk is warm, remove the rosemary and pour 250ml of the warm milk into the egg mixture. Gently combine, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Stir continuously over a low heat until the custard thickens.
Step Six: Remove the crostata from the oven. Dust with icing sugar, if using, and serve with the rosemary custard on the side.