This is it, my sweets. The transition point. Call it summer’s last hurrah or fall’s hello. At our house we marked the moment with a fig and raspberry crostata. Jammy and fragrant with crushed almonds, this tart takes all of 5 minutes to assemble.
I thawed a dough ball made from this recipe, placed my pizza stone on the middle rack and preheated the oven to 400 degrees. You can also use a lined baking sheet, but I got the idea for this tart from Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse Fruit, the beautiful book Lydia gave me for my birthday. Alice uses a pizza stone for her crostata.
The base of this tart can be used with any fruit. Mix 1 tablespoon flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons ground almonds. Done. The almond flavor works beautifully with summer fruit and berries as well as pears and apples when the time comes. You can change it up with the same amount of ground walnuts. Whatever floats your boat. The touch of flour keeps your fruit from getting too runny and the sugar sweetens it all up.
On a piece of parchment paper, roll your dough into a 12-inch round about 1/4- inch thick and sprinkle with your sugar/flour/almond mix, leaving a 1-inch border all the way around.
Cut 1 pint fresh figs into quarters the long way. Toss with 2 tablespoons sugar. Placing each fig on its bottom cut side up, arrange them in concentric circles on your almond base, working from the outside in. Planting each fig on its chubbiest part gives your tart a little height and creates a pretty layered effect. Gently fold the extra inch of dough up and over the fruit filling, crimping as you go.
Brush your crust with a little melted butter and sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar. Transfer the crostata, parchment paper and all, to your preheated pizza stone and bake for 40 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking. After 40 minutes, toss a few fresh raspberries on top and continue baking until the berries are warm and soft, about 20 minutes more.
Enjoy plain or with almond-scented whipped cream.
The verdict? At first I was unhappy with the raspberries. They detract from the beauty of those crowns of figs. But taste and you’ll know, the softly sour raspberries are what let you really savor the sweet figs.