Simple Roasted Figs
(From Robert Wemischner, professor of baking and pastry at Los Angeles Trade Technical College)
4 large or 12 small fresh figs, stems removed – Figure 3 small figs or 1 large fig per person
Panela or piloncillo, grated (or medium brown sugar) – Due to size and sweetness differential, amounts are approximate here, but 1 tablespoon of sugar per portion is a good approximation
Heavy cream (figure 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) per serving, plus 1 additional cup softly whipped to serve with the figs
Slivered almonds, toasted (1/2 cup)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Make two perpendicular cuts in each fig, starting at the stem end. Then gently press the fig apart to create a kind of flower with four petals.
Place the figs on a silicone mat (Silpat) set on a sheet pan.
Grate the panela or piloncillo evenly over the figs.
Pour the cream over the sugar and place the sheet pan into the preheated oven for approximately 5-7 minutes. Watch carefully. The sugar should melt and the cream bubble up. Remove from the oven.
Spoon any sugar and cream that has spread out onto the Silpat. Place the figs with their “sauce” on dessert plates, scatter almonds over each serving and serve with a bowl of softly whipped cream (no sugar needed, if the figs are sweet). A glass of vin santo would be heavenly with these.