My friend Paige and I entered a fig cooking contest in our neighborhood. We didn't win, but it was fun creating this dish. Our inspiration came from several recipes, including one in The Joy of Cooking for Figs With Ricotta. Neither of us have cooked with figs before. They are very sweet and the balsamic syrup offers a nice contrasting flavor without being overpowering. Paige is responsible for the beautiful food styling. Enjoy!
Creamy Stuffed Figs
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup local honey
1. Combine vinegar and honey in a saucepan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
1. Cut 15 figs into quarters, cutting to but not through bottom of each fig. Arrange in a baking dish, and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
4 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1. Stir together mascarpone, sugar, and cream until smooth. Spoon into a zip-top bag, and snip a tiny hole in one corner of bag. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
1/2 cup pecan halves, cut in half
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1. Melt butter in a skillet, and stir in pecans and brown sugar. Cook until pecans are coated and sugar dissolves (about 10 minutes).
1. Arrange figs on a serving dish. Drizzle figs with balsamic syrup. Pipe small amount of cheese mixture into center of each fig, pinching sides to close. Place a pecan piece on top of each fig. Drizzle with additional balsamic syrup. Store in the refrigerator until 30 minutes before serving; serve at room temperature.