Recipe: Caramelized Figs with Goat-Cheese/Mascarpone Crema and Sweet Basil Sauce

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Tomorrow on the Market Report, Laura Avery talks to Robert Wemischner about figs. Wemischner teaches the Professional Baking course at LA Trade Tech College and he is the author of four books on baking. He’s now working on his fifth book. The recipe below for Caramelized Figs with Goat-Cheese/Mascarpone Crema and Sweet Basil Sauce comes from his 4th book, The Dessert Architect. He has also generously shared several other ideas for using figs…

Sweet ideas:
  • Figs poached in a spiced syrup (cloves, cinnamon) and then served with well chilled Moscato d’Asti wine
  • Black mission fig ice cream (make a puree of the figs with a bit of sugar and water; cool and then puree and the swirl into the ice cream).
  • Baked fig tart–short pastry dough with a filling of pistachio cream–a mixture of pistachio nuts, sugar, butter, eggs and a bit of flour, with a touch of almond extract). Put the pistachio cream into the raw dough in a tart pan, top with halved or quartered figs (the Celestial yellow figs and the purple Black Missions look great together, alternating circles of each in the tart). Sprinkle with a bit of sugar and then bake until crust is deep brown and the figs are caramelized. Cool and serve.
  •  Fresh figs with warmed lavender honey and freshly ground black pepper
Savory ideas:
  • Salad: Crisped thin strips of chorizo strewn into an arugula salad with quartered fresh figs, dressed with a vinaigrette made from fragrant olive oil and sherry wine vinegar
  • Summer rumaki:Wrap some bacon around a halved fig stuffed with goat cheese and then baked at high heat
  • Croute of pulled (shredded) confited duck with a few slices of fresh fig atop a toasted croute of French bread
  •  Bleu cheese souffle—bury a fresh fig in a deep souffle ramekin and cover with the cheese souffle mixture; bake until puffed and golden and then serve