I love figs. I really do. It wasn’t until two years ago that I actually ate my first fresh fig. I know, right?! After that, I was hooked. I usually eat them as is but decided to experiment a little. I decided to stuff them. Well, the first time around wasn’t a success. That’s what this post is about…how not to make stuffed figs. Don’t get me wrong, the recipe is perfectly fine, it’s just my techniques that needed work. Let’s just say that I’ve corrected them since then.
Balsamic vinegar reduction
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon (raw) honey
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. On medium heat, bring the balsamic vinegar and honey to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture is reduced to half. Cooking time will vary, but check at around 10 minutes. May take up to 30 minutes.
4. Cut figs into quarters. Stop halfway to 3/4 of the way down the fig.
5. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon goat cheese into the middle of the slightly opened fig.
6. Bake for 10 minutes.
You can substitute blue cheese for goat cheese and spoon as much or as little as you want.
The amount of cheese depends on the size of the figs, so go by your gut and preference.
You can substitute just plain honey for the balsamic honey reduction.
You can wrap the stuffed fig with bacon or prosciutto.
Okay, so where did I make my mistake? Well, step number four, for starters. I cut the figs too far down, way too far. So, although it makes for somewhat a pretty picture, they’re not really stuffed figs. More like figs with cheese on top. It wasn’t until after I finished baking that I realize that I had cut too far down. Before I baked the figs, they actually held their shape.
Next mistake, I didn’t use enough cheese. I had never baked with goat cheese before. I only put a little because I didn’t want to overwhelm the taste with goat cheese. I wanted a balance. It turns out that the goat cheese lost some of its flavor after baking. I don’t know if it’s just the brand of cheese I got or goat cheese really does that.
Last mistake was that I over reduced my reduction. I left the pot simmering for far too long. I really should have checked more frequently. So watch this step closely. Really eyeball what half the volume is.
Overall, the flavor was fine. However, I definitely learned from my mistakes. Like I said, the recipe above is fine, really. I just thought it might be a nice change to read about how not to do something instead. No? Well, then maybe it’s just me.
Have you ever made stuffed figs? Care to share any tips?