Roasted figs

Figs are one of my favorite fresh fruits; unfortunately, the figs here aren’t ripe yet, so when I saw some at Costco (a two-pound carton) that looked as if they were at least reasonably ripe, I had to try them.  Thing  is, figs are perishable–so after eating some fresh (these were much better than what you usually find in the supermarket (but not perfectly ripe to the point of splitting and having that lovely drop of sap oozing from the blossom end as they should for eating out of hand), I searched through some of my favorite food blogs and something to do with the rest of them.

Here’s what I found that looked really good to me!  Every recipe that I’ve tried from this source has been a resounding success, so I’m going to try this one.

Roasted Figs (From David Lebovitz living the sweet live in paris)

Six to eight servings

Use a baking dish or pan that will allow you to bake the figs in a single layer. One that is 2 quarts (2l) should do it. Depending on where you live, fresh fig season is near the end of summer and mid-autumn and the best place to find fresh figs is at a farmers market.

1 pound (450g) fresh figs
4-6 branches fresh thyme
2 tablespoons red wine or liquor, such as Chartreuse, Pernod, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
three 1-inch (3cm) strips of fresh lemon zest

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

2. Slice the tough stem end off the figs and slice each in half lengthwise.

3. Toss the figs in a large baking dish with the thyme, red wine or liquor, brown sugar, honey, and lemon zest. Turn the figs so that they are all cut side down in the baking dish, in a single layer.

4. For figs that are softer and juicier, cover the baking dish snugly with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the figs are softened and cooked through.

For figs that are firmer, with less liquid, roast them in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

5. When done, remove the baking dish from oven, lift off the foil, and let the figs cool completely.

Variation: For more savory figs, replace the liquor with one or two tablespoons balsamic or sherry vinegar.

Storage: Roasted figs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

♦♥♦

The figs are out of the oven and I’ve tasted them–wonderful!  Some of these are going to be dessert after the French chicken in a pot, with just a dollop of sour cream, and the rest will get used with breakfast Greek yogurt or, perhaps, with oatmeal.

Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

This was scheduled for a later post, but the HOT weather and the impending end of strawberry season dictates it should be shared now.  I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did–and will be for a bit yet.

I’ve just realized that strawberry season may be coming to an end and I’ve not yet make strawberry ice cream–so that has become the project of the day.  I brought a huge basked of strawberries home from the farmers’ market with me.  Ate a bunch, and now it’s ice cream time.  In the past I’ve not really make a lot of ice cream, but I received a wonderful book of recipes for my birthday:  The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and I’m finding lots of things that I want to try out.  (This is a Philadelphia style ice cream–a particular favorite of my as it does not have me making custard, so it’s really fast and easy to put together).

Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream  (Adapted from “The Perfect Scoop”  p. 90)

Ingredients: 

  • 450 grams fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced.
  • 150 grams sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) vodka or kirsch
  • 240 grams sour cream
  • 250 mL heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Assembly: 
  • Slice the strawberries and toss in a bowl with the sugar and vodka.  Let stand at room temperature for one hour, stirring occasionally so that the sugar dissolves. 
  • Pulse the berries and liquid with the sour cream, heavy cream, and lemon juice in a food processor/blender until almost smooth, but still slightly chunky. 
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. 

How simple is that.  The hard part is waiting until it’s frozen.  The strawberry aroma is intense if you start this with good ripe strawberries…I’d never really though about smelling ice cream before–but while I was peeking into the ice cream maker I realized that I WAS smelling strawberries–and that made the waiting even more difficult.

It took about 25 minutes for the ice cream to be really thick and showing indentations where the blades had gone through.  It expanded to reach the top of the canister, so I stopped at that point.

The recipe suggested having a dip while it was still at that creamy stage–for harder, put it into the freezer in air-tight plastic containers.  I did have an immediate sample but some did get put into the freezer for later–in single-serving portions.

This may be the most intense strawberry ice cream that I’ve ever eaten.  I’m sure that part of the credit goes to starting with really good, ripe strawberries–not supermarket berries.  These were from the farmers’ market.

Now that blueberries, blackberries and peaches are on the way, I’m sure that the canister for the ice cream maker will absolutely have to live in the freezer. (Makes me glad that I have a small chest-type freezer on the back porch).  I also have to say hearty thanks to the friend who gave me the Perfect Scoop for a birthday present!