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Autumn is coming and there’s an abundance of figs in the stores. They looked so amazing and ripe that I knew I wanted to cook with them tonight and make a really special appetiser. I haven’t always been a big fan of figs – in fact I think it’s only really in the last year that I’ve got into them but now I love them in every capacity, fresh, baked, dried, fig jam – it’s all delicious!
The sweetness of figs pairs so well with the saltiness of a sharp cheese so tonight I decided to pair them with goats cheese – mainly because it’s my favourite. I tolerate goats cheese well but if you don’t you could use any cheese really, brie and camembert would be great choices, as would a blue cheese – in fact that’s just made me desperate to try these again with a nice dolcelatte or St Augur! (softer cheeses work better only because they melt faster in the oven so the figs aren’t in danger of being overcooked.)So onto the recipe – I preheated the oven to 160C and sliced the figs into eighths, making sure not to cut all the way to the bottom so that they still held their shape and gently pulled the segments apart so that the figs opened up like a flower. Then I drizzled the coconut oil into the centre and over the top of each one, season each with salt and black pepper and popped them into the oven to bake for 5 mins.
Meanwhile I prepared the prosciutto by ripping the slices into smaller pieces and dry frying them in a pan until they crisped up – about 3-4 mins.
By then the figs were ready to add the cheese to, they’d warmed through and were beginning to caramelise and get all squidgy and juicy. I split the cheese into 4 and stuffed the centre of each fig with a generous serving. If the figs have fallen open too much you can usually squeeze them back together and the cheese helps them stick a bit. Place these back in the oven for another 5 mins or so until the cheese has softened, but not melted or else it will run out onto the baking tray.Meanwhile, chop and toast the pecans in a dry frying pan and then you’re ready to plate up. I served my figs on a bed of mixed leaves (2 figs per portion – which was very generous, they’re quite rich) I crumbled the prosciutto over the top and added the chopped, toasted pecans. Then I drizzled some honey over them and added a generous sprinkle of ground black pepper and they were ready to serve.
The combination of the fresh but sweet figs which had slightly caramelised and the salty, tangy goats cheese is one of my favourites. The smoky, salty prosciutto sets them off perfectly and adds a slight crunch as the pecans do and the drizzle of honey brings everything together. Absolutely delicious and so easy to make – one to impress your guests!If you found smaller figs you could also make these as canapés as longs they were bitesize and small enough to just pop in your mouth! I also used these figs in my Roasted Fig and Brie Salad with Crispy Prosciutto, Grapes & Tarragon and found that they paired amazingly well with all the other ingredients.