Saturday, August 30, 2008

Figs: Grown-up style

Black figs are one of my favorite foods. The sweet pink insides and crunchy seeds are heaven on my tongue! Last summer, while traveling in Croatia we were introduced to dried fig jam, which is the essence of figs distilled into a jar.
(I am almost out of my fig jam I brought home, so if anyone has a good recipe for dried fig jam, please pass it along.)

We recently had a little dinner party, and I was at a loss for what to make for dessert. I had bought some mascarpone cheese with plans for a tiramisu, but it just didn't match the meal. Then I came across mission figs on sale. A plan to make some sort of figgy tiramisu developed.

I finally created a vanilla and sweet sherry roasted fig atop a sweet cracker smeared with sweetened marscarpone. I made it a second time on top of thinly sliced baguette, it was equally delish!

Roasted Fig Bruschetta
Makes enough dessert for a party of 8 to have seconds.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the figs
1/2 pint of mission figs, sliced in half, or forths if large
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 Cup sweet cream sherry
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Place figs cut side down on a rimmed baking tray or small container - I used a pie plate. Drizzle vanilla and sherry over the figs. Sprinkle with lemon zest.
Bake about 20 minutes until the figs are plumped and most of the liquid has evaporated. When figs come out of the oven squeeze the juice of half of a lemon over them. It will brighten the flavor of the figs and cut the sweetness of the sherry.

To make cheese
1 small container of marscarpone cheese (I think cream cheese would work equally well.)
1/4 Cup sweet cream sherry
2-3 Tablespoons sugar (I like brown sugar, but either would do)

Mix together in a bowl until smooth.

To make
Top thinly sliced baguette, shortbread cookies, or a butter tea biscuit with a smear of cheese and a piece of fig.
Enjoy with an esspresso or glass of tawny port.

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