Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Candied Balsamic Figs With Honey Ricotta Mousse

For the figs:
2Tbs unsalted butter
12 sm black mission figs
1/4 cup high quality honey
2Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice or
Vin Santo.
cracked black pepper.
For the Mousse:
10 oz whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup honey
zest of 2 lemons
1 cup heavy cream

There is an old Italian saying "Collo d'impiccato e camicia di furtante." The neck of a hanged man and the shirt of an urchin. Think of the long neck of the hanging man and the dirty ripped black shirt of an urchin. Remember this and you will pick gooey, sweet, earthy figs every time.

We have an abundance of really lovely organic Black Mission Figs at the farmers market right now. There are a lot of different varieties but I happen to enjoy the Black Mission. They have less seeds and are very sweet.
Today was the last day of summer and I think summer is simply a warm -up to fall and fall is when figs are at their peak. So when I can, I pick them up.
I happen to love figs any which way. Stuffed with Gorgonzola, grilled with prosciutto or slathered with honey.
This is a great autumnal recipe that is rich, deep and spicy. It gives a whisper of the holidays letting you know they are just around the corner.

I bought this great honey from France at http://www.deandeluca.com/ in Napa last time I was there. What better to use it on then these great figs. I think a really good high quality honey is key to this recipe.

Preparation for the figs:
Slice the figs
Melt butter in saute pan. Saute the figs.
Add honey, vinegar and orange juice
Add cracked pepper to taste
Keep warm

Preparation for the Mousse: ( adapted from recipe
in the New York Times. Here is how I make it)
Place ricotta, honey and zest in
food processor blend until creamy
Transfer to mixing bowl and chill.
Whip the cream and fold into
ricotta mixture. Chill
Serve on top of the warm fig mixture.

This is an amazing dessert. Something to really mark the season.

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