For this recipe, the Bakers rely on a machine that separates the fruit pulp from the seeds. If you don't own such a machine, you can chop the fruit. The tasty topping also goes well with carrot cake. –The Bakers, Stone Ridge, New York
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk, scalded
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 cups flour, sifted
Fig and Pear Filling (recipe follows)
1 egg white, slightly beaten
Cream Cheese Topping (recipe follows)
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside to proof. Put the butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and pour in the scalded milk. Cool. Add the beaten eggs, lemon zest, and 1 cup of the flour. Beat well. Stir in the dissolved yeast and remaining flour. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Prepare the Fig and Pear Filling. Preheat oven to 400° F. Working on a well-floured surface and keeping your hands and the rolling pin well floured, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick and cut into 4-inch squares. Put about 1 tablespoon of the filling in each square and fold the four corners into the center, pinching them together tightly to form a little "pillow." Place the pillows on a buttered cookie sheet and brush with the beaten egg white. Bake 10-12 minutes or until well browned. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes. Top each pillow with 1 teaspoon of Cream Cheese Topping.
Fig and Pear Filling
1 pound fresh, ripe pears
1/4 pound fresh figs
1/4 cup water
Peel and core the pears. Remove the fig stems. Cut both into 1-inch chunks. In a medium saucepan combine the fruit and water. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring once. Remove the cover and cook 15-20 minutes more until fruit is very soft. Purée in a food processor or blender. Cool thoroughly.
Cream Cheese Topping
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all the ingredients and beat until smooth.