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Monday, August 8, 2011

Recipe for Figs with Spiced Mascarpone Cheese

It's a rare thing, in my experience, to see figs on Maui so when I saw some recently I grabbed a basket.  Now what to do with them?  I wanted something simple and something that would complement the not-too-sweet taste of the figs.  I also wanted a little bit of decadence.  I thought about something with goat cheese and figs, which I've had in restaurants and know is a good combination.  Not really what I was aiming for, though.  I thought of Chef Dennis's mascarpone cheesecake recipe and thought "Brilliant!"

I'm enamored with cardamom lately, using it most recently in a marinade for tuna. The aroma and flavor are very pleasing to my taste buds and nose.  Always looking for a way to use it, I mixed a sample of mascarpone and cardamom.  Loved it.  Given the figs aren't that sweet, the honey adds just the right touch to balance the richness of the cheese and the orange adds one more layer.  Mmmm.

Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

  • 12 ripe figs
  • 3 ounces mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • Zest of 1 orange

  • Wash and dry figs.
  • Trim stem end off and slice in half.
  • Mix cheese, cardamom, and orange juice together.
  • Spread cheese mixture over fig halves.
  • Drizzle honey over fig halves.
  • Garnish with orange zest.
  • Serve chilled.

These figs could be an appetizer (I might consider skipping the honey) or dessert, which is how we ate them.  I'm going to be on the look out for more figs (but I'm not holding my breath-I think the season is over?)
What seasonal things have you stumbled over in the store lately?

Printable recipe