10.08.2012

Brulee Figs


Super Fancy Fig Facts:
There is a restaurant in my home town that has an outdoor patio that is completely shaded but a gnarled old fig tree. It is my favorite spot to eat lunch. I was delighted to see that they serve a signature S’more pie, but disappointed to see not a single fig on the menu and dozens of them hanging just out of reach.

My last trip to Lebanon proved a fruitful one when I learned from my Grandfather’s brother that the lone fig tree in my family’s olive orchard was a marker for an underground cave with something very special in it. Holy Grail?? Quite Possibly… Georges, we’re soooooo digging it up next trip.
Every night I walk up Pennsylvania Avenue to the gym, on my way I pass a house with a giant fig tree in the front yard. I always stop and smell it. Fig leaves have one of the best scents on the planet, next time it rains, go stand under one – I promise you won’t ever want to leave.

I begged the nursery in my neighborhood special order me my own fig tree. I thought I would pot it and plant it next to my bed, and that it would smell like home when it rained. My dad, the master gardener, yelled at me because you can’t grow fruit inside your house, it needs to be in the ground. He took my fig tree outside.
I NEED soooo many figs. If I had a fig tree I would…

On a balmy midsummer evening, wrap up your al fresco meal at the warped wooden table under the plane tree with blistered grilled figs, spoonfuls of soft mascarpone drizzled with orange blossom and rose water. Smell the mimosa. Don’t wipe the sugary smudge from your chin. Carry the sated silence to bed.”
And all the other amazing things MichelleMcGrane writes about.

As you can see, I have a special relationship with this succulent little fruit, it is always just out of my reach and always in the exact place I want to be.
This little appetizer is a tribute to all the things that I want to be.

Black Pepper and Honey Syrup: Whisk ½ cup of water and ½ cup of sugar until combined and then bring to a boil. Once boiling add two tablespoons of honey and a few generous cracks of black pepper. Whisk again. Allow to cool and thicken.

Find the plumpest, ripest figs you can. Gently slice them in half. Drop a teaspoon of fresh ricotta on each half then sprinkle with light brown sugar. Get out your sweet little torch and brulee the hell out of them. Drizzle with Black Pepper Honey Syrup and garnish with fresh thyme.

If I were a food, I would be a brulee fig - what would you be??

Share them with someone you love, and if you are feeling extra saucy, eat them lying down, like a Greek goddess would…

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