Figs typically have two seasons—one toward the beginning of summer, when you’re composing that long list of all the things you want to do, and one at the end of summer, when you’re staring at your list, whose original items have not been crossed off, and which now has five new items (although you have accomplished two of them! But you added those two after the fact, just so you’d have something to cross off).
So while my first fig galette post of the summer was redolent of potential and excitement, this particular lamb galette doesn’t have its head in the clouds—it means business… but in a fun way! It’s the kind of galette for getting stuff done, but it’s not so practical that we’re in winter weeknight dinner territory quite yet. This one is made for a nice outdoor dinner with friends, maybe a picnic or just a meal on the porch. So once they show up again in the markets, grab all the figs you can while you can, and make this summer count.
Just a few notes about caramelizing onions before I get to the recipe:
Feel free to caramelize the onions however you’d like. I’ve written out the method I’ve been using lately, but your favorite onion caramelizing method will work fine. Just remember that onion caramelization takes time. You don’t want to simply “blonde” the onions—instead, you want them to be jammy and deep brown all the way through. This can only happen by going somewhat slowly. The photos above give you a sense of what to look for as they cook. You might be tempted to stop once they look like the second photo, but this galette is delicious with more intensely caramelized onions.
But even more important than that wonderful caramelized taste, if you don’t let the onions get dark enough, not only will the flavor be off, but the galette might get soggy, and it will probably look kind of awkwardly bulky. Onions give off a ton of water as they caramelize, which means that you’ll end up with about 3/4 cup once all is said and done. If you don’t let them caramelize long enough, they’ll make up way too much of the galette, and they might give off some water as they bake.
fig galette with lamb and caramelized onions
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 8 servings
For the caramelized onions:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 450 grams (1 pound) sliced onions (about 1/8-inch thick).
For the all-butter crust:
- 180 grams all purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons (142 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon cold water (or a few more drops, if necessary)
For the lamb:
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 pound ground lamb
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- big pinch cinnamon
- little pinch cardamom
To assemble the galette:
- all-butter crust dough (above)
- caramelized onions (above)
- seared lamb (above)
- 6 to 7 mission figs, cut into wedges (about 6 wedges per fig)
- optional: cooking spray
- 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 teaspoon of water
- optional, for serving on the side: sour cream or labneh
- Caramelize the onions with your preferred method, so that they end up really deeply brown and jammy (see the third photo of the onions above). You should end up with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of onions. Here’s how I do it: Place the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the onions and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they become a little brown at the edges, and a film starts to develop on the bottom of the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir.
- Reduce heat to medium or medium-low, and then deglaze with another tablespoon of water and scrape the bottom every time a film starts to develop (at a lower heat, you’ll only need to stir every 5 to 10 minutes). With this technique, it takes about 40 minutes for them to get really deeply golden brown. You will need to lower the heat as time goes on.
- When the onions are done, remove them and give the pan a rinse, but don’t wash it (you’ll use it for the lamb).
- Make the crust: Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cold butter and use the tips of your fingers to work pieces of butter into the flour. Stop once most of it has been worked into the flour, but some pieces are left in big, lumpy, flat chunks. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Add the cold water into the butter/flour mixture, and stir together until it forms a ball. Place the ball in plastic wrap, close it up, and use the pressure from the plastic wrap to form it into a flat disc with smooth sides. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes, while you work on the lamb.
- Sauté the lamb: Heat the oil in the onion pan over medium-high heat for a couple minutes, and then add the lamb and salt. Stir, braking the lamb up into small pieces, and continue to stir frequently for about 7 to 8 minutes, until any juices have evaporated, and the lamb is nicely seared (feel free to stop at any point after the juices evaporate). Turn off the heat, add the spices, stir everything together for about 30 seconds, and remove to a plate.
- To assemble and bake: Flour the counter, and roll out the dough to about 12 to 14 inches in diameter (flour it as you go, and keep rotating to make it an even circle). Gently wrap it around your rolling pin, and move it to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Spread the caramelized onions evenly over the center of the dough, leaving a couple inches of crust around the edges. Follow this with an even layer of the lamb crumbles. Top with the figs in a star-burst arrangement (or whatever arrangement you’d like). Styling tip: start with 8 or 9 fig wedges in the center, and then place more wedges sticking out of the spaces between those. Fill in the spaces between those, and continue wherever there is space left. Hit the figs with a very quick burst of cooking spray.
- Fold one side of the galette toward the center (the fold should happen at the edge of the filling). Repeat with the remaining sides, and finish by tucking the final side under the first side.
- Preheat the oven to 425° F, and throw the galette into the freezer until the oven is ready (about 10 to 15 minutes). This will help the galette hold its shape.
- Brush the dough with egg wash, and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and the figs have caramelized slightly. Let it cool on the parchment for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.