Friday, October 22, 2010

Cinnamon and Vanilla Baked Figs


Fresh figs.

Fresh, ripe, black figs.

I was so happy to have these in my possession. So happy to be able to open my fridge, take out a fig, and snack on it. Unfortunately, my slow hoarding of the fruit meant that soon, the figs were past their prime. I mourned only momentarily, because then I remembered how delicious baked figs are. You don't need to get fancy. No need for tarts or pastry dough or almond frangipane (though the combination of baked almond frangipane and figs is amazing). Just baked figs, with a little bit of sugar and spice to bring out its beautiful natural flavors.

To start, I sliced the stems off my four figs and then made four slits in the top of the fruit (like quartering them, except without slicing through). Then I combined about 1-2 tbps salted butter, a dash of ground cinnamon, about 1/2 tsp of vanilla sugar, and a pinch of salt (yes, more salt). I topped the figs with this mixture, pushing it down into the center of the fig a bit using a chopstick.

Then, I baked the figs for about 25 minutes at 350°F in my toaster oven (no reason to use the big oven when I'm only doing four little figs). After 25 minutes, I removed the figs. A lot of delicious fig juice had seeped out of the fruit, so I spooned this back on top of the figs, kind of like basting a turkey.I popped the figs back into the toaster over for another 15 minutes at 350°F. You can taste test at this point, and see if your figs are sweet enough for you. Normally, I like to top them one last time with a dab of salted butter and a sprinkle of vanilla sugar and let that caramelize before I eat them.

They are delicious on their own, but if also wonderful with toasted almonds or vanilla ice cream.

Cinnamon and Vanilla Baked Figs.
A beautiful way to start the weekend.

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