Fig, Apple & Walnut Pie
I was a very happy cook over the past couple of months having discovered a group of wild fig trees in the field behind our property here in Umbria. Every other day I was able to visit the trees and bring home a huge basket of plump, ripe green figs. Sadly, I visited the trees yesterday and there was not even a single fig left to pick but after the bounty we have enjoyed this season I really can’t complain. I made this delicious fig, apple and walnut pie in a variety of ways over the past two months while our figs were in season and realized I had not yet shared it with you. It is a simple filling made of chopped figs, diced apples, chopped walnuts, Marsala wine and spices that I gently cook first to meld the ingredients together.
As I have stated in earlier posts, I am not a fan of fussy pie pastry but the recipe I use here is fail proof and goes together so easily that I would be happy to make a pie every day if I needed to. It also produces an extremely flaky tender crust that is perfect for tender fruit fillings. The pastry recipe given does make two pies though, so you can either forge ahead and make both at once, or wrap one half the dough in plastic wrap and freeze it for another time. To cut shapes out of your top crust as in my photo, simply use a sharp, small cookie cutter and cut out the shapes once the dough has been rolled before placing it over the filling. You can “adhere” the shapes you have cut to the top crust by using the milk as glue.
I am also including a quick and delicious recipe my Mother used to use to finish up her pastry scraps turning leftover pie pastry into tender cinnamon filled spirals that I still love to make myself. The photo at top shows a traditional double crusted pie described in the recipe while I am including a photo of a free form crostata type of pie below. To create the free form pie, simply roll a circle of dough about 14 inches in diameter, pile your filling into the center, and then fold over the edges, pinching the dough at intervals to help it lie flat.