Apr 5, 2009

Caramelized Figs

A treat for the libertine housed within all of us.

Fichi Caramellati [Fee key Cah rah mel lah tee]
It's not fig season yet, I know. But this morning I woke up with a start. I had dreamt of making bruschetta, smearing it with mascarpone cheese and topping it with this:

Here's how to make decadent happen:
  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) fresh, ripe figs (Mission or green), unpeeled
  • 500 gr (1.1 lb) sugar
  • 1 glass of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 glasses of water
  • A splash of dark Cuban rum
  • Cream
Wash the figs carefully–the skins shouldn’t break off–and gently pat them dry. Slice off just enough of the stems to expose the pulp. Stand them upright in a saucepan large enough to hold them all in one layer.

In a bowl, melt the sugar in the vinegar and cover the figs with it, add the water and gently simmer until the liquid becomes thick and syrupy, and the figs fall apart. This could take up to 1 hour (depending on stove power and fig tenderness, the riper the figs, the better the outcome).

Spoon the glazed, jammy compote in Martini glasses or champagne flutes, splash with some rum and a dollop of fresh cream. Or mascarpone…

Note: This recipe has been updated and improved in 9/2010 thanks to Saskia's kind contribution.

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