About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Carmelized Figs D'Oro with Buttermilk Panna Cotta

I cannot pass up the chance prepare something special with figs. They are a luscious and versatile summer fruit that can be found on everything from pizza to oatmeal right now.  I really like them best fresh but  they pair so successfully with savory cheeses and greens like arugula.  It's hard to know which way to turn but I've decided to ramp up all their rich sweetness by caramelizing them and adding a dash of  elegance with Moscato D'Oro and then serve over a more piquant buttermilk panna cotta. The ruby color from the figs is lovely. Opposites attract in this romantic dessert. Heavenly!

For the Caramelized Figs D'Oro

Rinse, trim and split lengthwise, 1 pint of brown figs
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbls Moscato D'Oro (or use another sweet dessert wine; rum or bourbon would work too)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (fig, if you can find it)
tiny pinch of salt

In a heavy medium sauce pan, add the brown sugar, Moscato, salt.  Cook over medium low heat for ten minutes stirring frequently. Do not let the sugar burn.  Add the lemon zest and figs and cook another 10-15 minutes.
Cool and serve at room temperature. Store in glass jars.

For the Buttermilk Panna Cotta

2 tbls spoons water
1 1/2 tsp gelatin
cooking spray

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and let it bloom for a few minutes
Lightly spray 3/4 cup custard cups or molds with cooking spray and set aside.

1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the cream, sugar and lemon peel in a heavy medium sauce pan over medium heat stirring constantly until the cream just starts to boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the softened gelatin and stir until dissolved.  Add the buttermilk and vanilla and blend.  Pour into cups and chill for at least 4 hours.

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