Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Stuffed Baked Figs

Figs were one fruit almost never found in my house growing up.  I assumed it was due to most of my family being extremely picky eaters, especially when it came to healthier foods.  But when I saw packages of figs on sale at the grocery store last week, I grabbed a couple.  That night, my father (pickiest of them all) broke in to one of the packs and ate half of them.  Go figure.

But that wasn't my main reason for buying the figs.  I saw this recipe on The Purple Foodie's blog one week before and my curiosity was sparked by the simplicity and potential deliciousness.  You'll only need four ingredients for this, and it takes less than 20 minutes to prepare (and that's a generous estimate) - good for party snacks.

What you'll need:

-Figs (As many as you want.  I used Brown Turkey)
-Goat cheese (I used about 2 ounces for 9 figs)
-Honey (to taste, just to drizzle over the top)
-Black Pepper (what I used.  You can also play around with this ingredient and use whatever you want:  nuts, herbs, cayenne pepper.)

How to do it:

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C.

Take each fig and cut off the stem.  Cut 3/4 of the way down the fig, exposing the inside and making it look something like a hungry sandworm on Arrakis.  (Note:  Make sure to cut only 3/4 of the way down, and no more.  You'll see why later.)

Grab a pinch of goat cheese and stuff it inside:

Put them on a baking sheet and throw them in the oven for about 15 minutes.  (PF advises 10-12, but I liked them better when cooked longer)

And here is where the depth of your cuts comes in to play.  The figs will open while baking, and if you cut them too deep they will open completely.  After baking, a properly cut fig will look like this:

But if you got a little knife-happy at the start, your figs will look more like this:

They were still tasty, so it wasn't the end of the world, but it hurts your presentation.

Once out of the oven, drizzle each fig with honey. (I used orange blossom honey, but use whatever you like.  Whatever you use, a squeeze bottle makes things easier)  Top with the black pepper and serve warm.

And that's it!

(As you can see, I did get overexcited with the knife.  Don't make my mistake!)
The figs will ooze a sweet syrup after baking that goes well with the saltiness of the goat cheese and with the pepper.  They're not exactly the neatest food to eat, so either have napkins handy or use a knife and fork like civilized people do. (What's with them?)

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