Each of 12 servings: 439 calories; 6 grams protein; 57 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 21 grams fat; 13 grams saturated fat; 121 mg. cholesterol; 296 mg. sodium.
Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes plus overnight refrigeration
Servings: 10 to 12
Note: This recipe from chef Alain Giraud, part of a July article by Leslie Brenner describing a Bastille Day picnic, was one of the Food section staff's top two recipes for the year. The dough is delicate and somewhat difficult to handle, but well worth the effort. It's easiest to roll it out between industrial-sized sheets of plastic wrap (available at Smart & Final). The quality of the butter is important: Giraud recommends Plugra, available at Trader Joe's. If the figs aren't very ripe and sweet, sprinkle them with brown sugar.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons blanched almond meal
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1. Cream the butter in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment at medium speed. Add the sugar and scrape down the sides. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
2. Add the almond meal and vanilla extract. Beat at low speed; add the flour and baking powder and continue to mix at low speed just until well combined. Do not overwork.
3. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a rectangle 2 inches thick. Seal in plastic wrap, then cover with foil. Refrigerate overnight.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter