My latest adventure in the kitchen is short and very sweet! My local store is featuring fresh organic figs and while I don’t eat figs very often, I was drawn to these with dessert in mind. I thought of pairing them with pears (forgive the clumsy quip) from my backyard tree. My pears were ripe and tender which was perfect with the figs. I have some wonderful “Cafe Espresso” Balsamic Vinegar in my refrigerator. Throw in a few bright strawberries and add a touch of mint and there you have a late summer dessert that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Figs and Pears with Savory Balsamic Sauce (one serving)
- A half-dozen fresh, ripe organic figs
- 1 organic pear
- A few strawberries
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar (You can add instant espresso powder for the “cafe” flavor, but I have seen espresso balsamic in several stores lately. Look in the gourmet section.)
- 2-3 tablespoons of organic barley malt
- pinch of sea salt
- a dash of triple sec
- Mint leaves
Wash the fruit thoroughly. Core the pears and slice anyway you want. Halve the figs and the strawberries.
In this combination, you want to adjust the fruits so they are pleasant and easy to eat together. If your pears are very crisp, you can blanch them for just a few seconds in salted boiling water. This has to be really really fast because you don’t want mushy fruit compote. You just want to take the edge off the crisp pears so they can be easily eaten in this dessert without losing the contrast between the softer fruit and the crisp pear.
In a small saucepan, bring your dark balsamic vinegar, barley malt and sea salt to a simmer and reduce the sauce to the desired thickness. Watch that you don’t over-boil the barley malt. If it gets very hot and boiled it will turn into a soft and then a hard candy texture. Just simmer.
Assemble the fruit in bowls and put the sauce on them just before serving. Garnish with mint leaves.
Sweet as sweet can be!