I love figs. They are such a great little fruit. When my sister and her husband bought their home, they found out that their backyard had a fig tree. It’s a gorgeous tree that produces massive amounts of fruit, but my sister hasn’t prepared a whole lot of fig dishes in her lifetime so she lets me pick as many as I am willing to take when they’re ripe. Just this past weekend, I had stopped by her house and of course, I had to go into the backyard and pick some. After I got home, I thought about all of the different things I could make with them besides just eating them by themselves. Serving them with Mascarpone and honey sounded like a great way to eat them. It’s a simple idea, but this way the fruit stands out a little bit more on it’s own.
I got the idea from a French blogger named Christelle of Christelle is Flabbergasting. I love the way she makes her own Mascarpone to serve with the figs and honey. I couldn’t wait to try this on my own and I must say, I wasn’t disappointed. Making my own Mascarpone sounded a bit daunting, but I was determined to give it a shot and I was happy to find that it’s easier to make than I had feared.
Mascarpone is an acidified cheese, meaning an acidic agent is added to heated dairy, denaturing the proteins and separating them from the whey. In this recipe, lemon juice is used for this process. I used only one small to medium lemon and a small carton of non-ultra pasteurized heavy cream. You must make sure that it is not ultra pasteurized because some bacteria is good. Now it does take about 24 hours to make Mascarpone, but there isn’t many steps and it really is simple.
The infused honey in this recipe is really nice. The added touch of rosemary is subtle but it really works well. I could see using this honey on different fruits, cheeses, and maybe even on a pork roast. When I drizzled it on top of the figs and Mascarpone, I went light at first, but after taking a bite, I went right back to the honey jar for an extra heavy drizzle. Yes, I liked it that much. Don’t forget to add the pistachios (Or a nut of your choice. Walnuts maybe?) to the top to give you a bit of crunch to the soft and sweet. They complete the dessert. It would still be good without them, but they really offset the dessert nicely.
I ended up sharing this with my husband, Bill. He was cautious at first because he wasn’t sure what he would think about the figs and he wasn’t very knowledgeable on what Mascarpone is, but as soon as he took a bite, he really liked it. He thought it was a light elegant dessert. He enjoyed the pistachios, but he really thought it would go well with walnuts too. This is definitely a dessert I will serve at a nice dinner in the future.
Homemade Mascarpone Recipe
For 500 ml of cream, about 300-350 g of mascarpone
– 500 ml (2 cups) of 35% pasteurized whipping cream (organic preferably)
– 20 ml lemon juice
You will need:
– A candy thermometer
– A strainer
1) Pour the cream in a heat-resistant bowl and heat in a water-bath (boiling water) for about 15 minutes until the temperature reaches 190 ° F (85 ° C).
2) When the temperature is reached, pour in the lemon juice and stir the mixture with a whisk, keeping it at temperature (85 ° C / 190 ° F) for 5 minutes. The cream should thicken (like a custard) and coat the edges of the bowl.
3) Remove the bowl from the water bath and allow to cool to room temperature.
4) When the bowl is cold, put it in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
5) Once the 12 hours have passed, the cream should have thickened.
6) Cover a strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Pour the mixture into the refrigerator and leave to stand for another 12 hours without squeezing the mixture.
After 12 hours, the mascarpone is normally ready but the more the mixture dries and refrigerates, the stronger the mascarpone.
Remember to make sure that the heavy cream is not ultra-pasteurized.
You can keep the whey from the bowl where the cream drips and use it as butter milk in pancakes, scones, crumpets….
Honey Rosemary Recipe
– Approximately 75 ml (1/3 cup) of honey
– Two or three sprigs of rosemary
1) In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the honey and the sprigs of rosemary to a small boil. Let simmer a few seconds and turn off the heat.
2) Let cool and pour on fresh figs or the fruit of your choice.
Notes: To serve up the Mascarpone and honey with the figs, just scoop a bit of the Mascarpone onto a plate, slice figs on top, drizzle with honey, top with crushed pistachios or nuts of your choice, and serve.