Fresh figs are nestled in a dark chocolate ganache made with coconut milk and an almond flour press-in crust.
Of all the fruit that comes into season during this time, I can never resist figs. Long regarded with high esteem throughout the world, the fig tree is a symbol of plenty, fertility, and sweetness.
The benefits of this prized fruit hail as far back as 52-113 AD when Pliny the Elder (the Roman writer) declared: “Figs are restorative. They increase the strength of young people, preserve the elderly in better health and make them look younger with fewer wrinkles.” Pin It
While his theory remains to be proven we know that this exquisite fruit is a good source of potassium, calcium, as well as fiber; and, to be honest, I’ll take any excuse to indulge.
Figs come in many varieties but two of the most commonly found in California are: Calimyrna and Black Mission figs. Calimyrna’s have a greenish-yellow skin and a mild almost nutty taste. Black Mission’s are a deep purple-black when ripe. Fragrant and firm, they are generally the most full-flavored.
Soft and slightly gritty with the tiniest of seeds, fresh figs are ephemeral in nature with only a brief window when they are at their most glorious.
Although I’ve been seeing plenty of both kinds lately, it was the Calimyrnas that caught my eye the other day. They were plump, fat, golden-green orbs, bulging at the sides. Lusciously sweet, the inside revealed a flesh that ranged from a pale pink blush to a deep rose stain.
What I love about figs is their chameleon-like nature. They have an ability to subtly elevate and compliment both savory and sweet dishes. You can serve them simply with a drizzle of honey and yogurt, or pair them with cheese and wine.
Figs also love to be in the company of chocolate so I paired mine with a dark chocolate coconut milk ganache in an almond tart crust. The process is reassuringly easy: a press-in crust filled with a quick ganache, chilled and dusted with cocoa.
Some honey for sweetness, and a short stay under the broiler to caramelize and concentrate the flavors, and the ripe slices of figs are tucked away underneath a thick coating of chocolate ganache. After a rest in the fridge to firm up, this dense and silky tart is ready to serve.
What’s your favorite way to eat fresh figs?
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