Monday, June 16, 2008

New camera and a spicy fig sauce for dessert

I've been waiting to post, my trusty Canon Powershot of 5 years finally called it a day. It took me a couple of weeks but I finally have a replacement and I'm so happy!!!! I switched to a Sony after really looking and shopping around, I can be irritating that way but it was worth all of the effort. My new camera is great and with a little direction from me, it takes amazing pictures.

I have made 2 things recently that I really liked. One is this sour cherry pudding pictured here. I can't pass this recipe along, a friend was nice enough to share one of his Grandmother's recipes that they are publishing in a family cookbook. Needless to say, it was amazing and unusual. It bakes up like a crusty biscuit. I served it with vanilla ice cream.

I also bought beautiful figs over the weekend. I served them with the Goat Cheese Custards that are already posted here. You could also serve this over ice cream, especially caramel or a dulce de leche. It's a two part process but totally worth it and you can make modifications easily. Unfortunately everyone devoured them before I could get a time!

Spicy Fig Sauce

Yield: 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, warm
1/2 cup chopped fresh figs
1 star anise
3 whole black peppercorns

1. Cook the sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Watch closely, it burns quickly.

2. Add the orange juice and bring to a boil. Add the figs, star anise, and peppercorns, bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes or such.

4. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing on the solids to remove as much liquid as possible, don't be shy about this step. If necessary, thin with a little warm water to a sauce consistency.
5. To prepare the figs: Cut the tops off 6 of the figs. Use a small spoon to press a cavity into each fig and dip the whole fig in simple syrup. Fill the figs with the port. Place the filled figs on a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until they have softened. Slice the figs in half lengthwise and then cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Warm the slices in the remaining simple syrup. Even though the figs are pretty served whole, they are difficult to cut into pieces with a spoon.
I served the sliced figs with the sauce over the goat cheese custards. Really, really good.
Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.

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