Servings: 6 to 8
Toasted hazelnuts and warm spices give the cookie-like topping on this cobbler a deep, rich flavor that’s reminiscent of linzer cookies.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, hazelnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg (freshly ground is best), cloves, and white pepper (if using). Whisk until well blended.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed until well blended, about 1 minute.
Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Scrape the dough onto the plastic. Using the plastic as an aid, shape the dough into a 7-1/2-inch-long log. Wrap in the plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
Put the sugar, flour, and salt in a 10-inch nonreactive, ovenproof skillet (8- to 10-cup capacity) and whisk until well blended. Add 1 cup water and the butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla bean halves and seeds. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and boil, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Cover and set aside off the heat to steep for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Return the syrup to a boil over medium-low heat. Add the figs and cook, tossing gently, until very hot and beginning to release their juice, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Spread the fruit into a relatively even layer. Arrange the topping slices randomly over the hot filling, leaving space between them.
Bake until the filling is bubbling and the topping is golden-brown (a toothpick inserted into a few pieces should come out clean), 25 to 35 minutes. Let sit about for 30 minutes to allow the filling to settle and thicken before serving.
Make Ahead Tips
The topping dough can be refrigerated, wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 days. Cut the dough into slices just before baking.
Cast iron skillets are great, but not for this cobbler; their reactive surface can lend a metallic taste to the finished cobbler. Stick with a nonreactive skillet, such as stainless steel or enamel-lined cast iron.
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