Flour is dusted across the countertop and in the air, dancing with the dust motes. They hover gently, twirling for a moment before landing. Another cloud of flour is launched into the air as I close the sack; some land on my nose, making me crinkle it. I sift flour with salt and sugar. The grains part with my fork tearing through. One. Two.
The tahini is added next. The fork is replaced by my fingers, seeking to blend, to crumble. Indeed, they do crumble, attaining a crumb-like, coarse consistency. I continue moving my fingers - press, release, press again, adding some water in. It does not take long for a solid, albeit dry, ball of dough to form. Another tablespoon of water is added. The dough is pressed a little more, then rolled and flattened into a misshapen circle. Done.
The fig glistens with droplets of moisture from condensation. It's a plump fruit, that fig. The skin splits at the touch of my knife, revealing a gorgeously not-quite-red-or-orange innards stuffed with seeds. They are placed gently atop the circle of dough. I fuss a little more with the arrangement before folding up the dough corners, working the seal shut any gaps. A sprinkle of salt, a smatter of sugar. Into the oven it goes.
The twenty minutes I wait for is torturous. The smell teases my nose as it drifts out of the kitchen, wafting around the house like a ballroom dancer, swirling and twirling.
At last, she stops. I do not wait for the cooling time, already placing it on a plate, nearly salivating with the smell of baked fig. It's like ambrosia, I swear.
The first bite that I take greets me is one that crunches. The crust is crisp - neither overly thin nor thick. The fig filling arrives next, both salty and sweet. I chew, taking time to slowly absorb the flavours and textures. I take my next bite. Then the next. And the next.
It's gone soon - too soon. All that's left is but scarce crumbs dotting the plate. It's over.
Salted (albeit lightly) Tahini - Fig Galette
- to be continued -