By Erin Walgamuth:
This time of year black figs are in just about every grocery store and I love figs! The recipe for this lovely and oh-so-elegant appetizer is not precise as you can adjust it to suit your taste. We love the combination of sweet meets savory and I must say that when I serve this starter there is not one little morsel left on the platter!
I buy my ingredients at the store “who’s name shall not be mentioned”, but most any grocery store will have them on hand.
Prep time and cook time is approximately 30 minutes total
You will need-
A heavy bottomed small sauce pan
A fry pan for the bacon
A dinner plate covered with clean paper towel to drain bacon
1- 16oz box of black figs
4oz Mascarpone cheese, you will probably have to buy an 8oz container
Honey, I like to use Clover Honey
4 slices of Apple Smoked Bacon, I buy a 12oz package and use the rest for breakfast, or use the whole pacage if you like.
½ cup of Balsamic Vinegar, I like to use fig
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
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Cut the figs in half length-wise and place cut side up on a serving platter, you will have approximately 32 pieces when cut.
Use a fork to whisk 1 teaspoon of the honey into the mascarpone cheese. Taste and add more honey if you like, set aside.
Fry 4 pieces of the bacon until crisp then place on paper towel covered dinner plate.
While the bacon is frying put the balsamic vinegar and the brown sugar into the small sauce pan. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Turn heat on low to med-low and bring to a gentle boil. Let vinegar boil gently for about ten minutes then remove from heat. Let Balsamic rest for at least 10 minutest as it will thicken as it sits. Remove from heat and let rest while you coarsely chop the bacon, discard any pieces of fat.
Place about ½ a teaspoon of the mascarpone cheese and honey blend onto the middle of each fig half. Drizzle some of the sauce over the fig and cheese. Sprinkle some bacon over the top of the fig, cheese and sauce and serve.
Erin Walgamuth has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe section.