Deep-Dish Mascarpone Fig Pie with Ginger-Hazelnut Crust

Deep-Dish Mascarpone Fig Pie with Ginger-Hazelnut Crust
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Deep-Dish Mascarpone Fig “Slab” Pie with a Ginger Hazelnut Crust

Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan
Course Dessert, Desserts
Cuisine Pie

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup raw skinless hazelnuts divided
  • 10 ounces gingersnap cookies 3 cups ground
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt rounded
  • 12 tbsps unsalted butter melted

For the filling:

  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese cool room temperature
  • 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsps  pure vanilla extract

For garnish:

  • 3-5 fresh figs, sliced thinly plus more to decorate plates

Instructions

To make the crust:

  • Preheat the oven – or toaster oven! – to 350°F. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes until browned, shaking the sheet half way-through the baking time, for even toasting. Cool to room temperature before using, setting aside two tablespoons for garnishing the pie.
  • Grease an 8-x-8-x-2-inch square pan with cooking spray or softened butter. Line the bottom and sides with tin foil and grease the foil. Set aside.
  • Place the ginger snaps, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processer and process until finely ground. Add the toasted nuts and process again. Add the melted butter and process until the crumbs are uniformly moistened, scraping the bowl down if necessary. Alternatively, place the crackers, nuts, sugar, and salt in a zippered plastic bag, and smash with a rolling pin. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, add the melted butter and using a rubber spatula, combine the crackers and nuts with the butter.
  • Transfer the crumbs to the prepared pan and firmly press them into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, making the bottom slightly thicker than the sides. I find it easier to start with the sides. After pressing with your fingers, use a measuring cup or straight-sided glass to tightly secure the crumbs into place.  Place the crust in the freezer for at least an hour, and up to overnight. 

To make the filling and assemble the pie:

  • Place the cool room temperature mascarpone cheese, the confectioners’ sugar, and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium-sized bowl and using a hand mixer, and beat on low, briefly, just to combine and break up the cheese, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Whip the heavy cream and vanilla in a separate large bowl with a hand mixer, until medium to stiff peaks form. If you do not have a handheld mixer, or if you have already used it, transfer the mascarpone mixture to a separate large bowl and reuse the cleaned stand mixer bowl, now fitted with the whisk attachment, or the cleaned hand mixer attachment, and whisk the cream as described above.
  • Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone, in two additions, with a rubber spatula. Once fully combined, transfer the filling to the prepared crust, smoothing the top with an offset spatula, or butter knife. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake for at least 5 hours, but preferably overnight. 
  • When ready to serve, Chop the two reserved tablespoons of hazelnuts and set aside. Grasp two sides of the tinfoil, lift the pie from the pan and then lift the pie off of the tinfoil and onto a cutting board. Sprinkle with the two tablespoons of reserved toasted hazelnuts and using a long serrated knife, cut the pie into 16 “slabs.” Run the knife under hot water before each cut, to insure clean slices. Decoratively place a slice of fig, or two, on each slab before serving. 

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