Tuesday, September 20, 2011
There are about 20 figs on my yet small fig tree but I am not sure they will have enough time to ripen fully this year. A wave of cold weather came suddenly to DC and, although days are still sunny, crispy nights may not allow my figs to get to their peak.
I am waiting hopefully but in the meantime I buy figs at a store. And I cannot complain at all. They are sweeter than any past year I remember. I love them simply with prosciutto or cheese and baguette. But sometimes their sweetness is nearly overwhelming when they are served with savory accompaniments and wine. That gave me an idea, besides eating them fresh, to make a dessert. Fruit desserts are great as those days everybody seems to be on diet and resists any sweets.
In that recipe I combined many different ideas but in a Mediterranean style. I think that spices coming from that region bring out a wonderful taste of figs. Here is how, served with crème fraîche and a delicate biscuit, figs make a wonderful and light dessert.
8-10 black figs if larger or 10-12 smaller,
2/3 cup of orange juice, the best is freshly squeezed,
a couple of slices of orange peel cut off from the oranges that you squeezed, but you can also use candied orange peel, especially home made,
1 tbsp of running honey--the best for this recipe is lavender honey, if you happen to have such,
6-8 coriander seeds,
a small, about two-inch long cinnamon stick,
1 inch of vanilla pod,
1 tbsp of orange blossom water, or rose water,
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Cut figs in half and place them in a round (nine inches, oven proof dish).
3. In a small bowl mix orange juice, honey, and orange water.
Pour it over the figs. Place on top coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, vanilla pod, and orange peel.
4. Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes uncovered--the liquid around the figs should boil for a few minutes.
Cool down the dish. Divide figs between plates and pour over the thickened sauce. Decorate with a dollop of crème fraîche and a biscuit if you like.