I’ve had an ongoing love affair for a while now. . .
My husband knows all about it. . .
Figs. . . sweet, savory, sliced, diced, baked, puréed or sautéed. . .
By themselves or with blue cheese, goat cheese, mascarpone, prosciutto, carmelized onions, arugula. . .
Our neighbors have a ginormous fig tree that we are welcome to help ourselves to.
Last year, annoyed by its vigorous spreading growth~ they severely pruned it . . .
So, no figs :(
This year, it grew back bigger, stronger, faster.
We battled the birds and walked away victorious with some of its delicious fruit~
One of several quick ways we enjoy them~
Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Spread with goat cheese while baguette slices are warm, add figs, drizzle with honey and some cracked black pepper.
If you’re not in too big of a hurry~ add a bit more goat cheese on top of the figs, pop in the oven for 5 minutes for the goat cheese to melt a little and warm the figs.
We’re usually in a hurry :)
At the end of summer, I had the fig blues. . .
The tree was done. The figs at the Farmers Market were gone.
My love affair had come to its “Same Time Next Year” phase.
My sister turned us on to figs in a jar to satisfy our cravings~
And this tasty trio of flavors~ Dalmatia® Fig Spread, Brie & Meyer Lemon Cookies~
So figs in a jar would have to do~ since figs we typically find in the grocery store are over ripe & overpriced.
Last week, I opened House Beautiful’s October issue, in search of The 2011 Kitchen of the Year Tyler Florence designed at Rockefeller Center and spied a recipe of his I had to try~
Fig and Ricotta Pancakes. . .
Desperate for figs, I was afraid I would have to fly to California to visit Jain~ who has been tempting me with her fig ice cream, cake, pizza & chocolate-dipped creations~ and return with a stash in my suitcase.
Fortunately, my grocery store saved me airfare with a pristine shipment just in~ beautiful, big figs~ not over ripe~ and on special, no less :)
The October House Beautiful issue is appropriately titled, “Happiness starts here!”
From Tyler’s Kitchen, courtesy Tyler Florence
Spiced Fig and Ricotta Pancakes
Serves 4, makes about 12 pancakes
2 cups whole-milk ricotta
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon each ground allspice, cloves, and cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
10 fresh figs, thinly sliced
In a large bowl, add the ricotta, egg yolks, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and stir until well blended. Stir in the allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla.
In another bowl, or parchment paper, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a third bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Fold the dry ingredients together with the wet, then carefully fold the egg whites into the batter.
In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat.
Arrange one large fig slice for smaller pancakes or three small slices in a circular pattern if making larger ones. Carefully ladle the batter over figs and cook until bubbles rise in the center of each pancake. Turn pancake over and cook for another two to three minutes. Repeat with remaining batter and figs, adding butter to skillet as needed.
Serve with real maple syrup and any remaining fig slices.
Happiness does start here. . .
and a 2,500 square-foot dream kitchen complete with Mauviel cookware doesn’t hurt either :)