I’ve been visiting a new website over the past few weeks, it is called Food 52. It is the brain-child of Amanda Hesser (NY Times food writer) and her partner, Merrill Stubbs. The purpose of the site is to hold recipe competitions among member “home cooks” every week for a year, with each winning recipe being featured in a cookbook that will be published by Harper Studio sometime in 2010.
My recipe for a Fig and Almond Clafoutis has been chosen as a weekly finalist….kinda cool, huh? Users of the site have a week to vote on which recipe will win, AND THE VOTING DEADLINE IS TONIGHT, TUESDAY OCTOBER 20TH AT MIDNIGHT!
I suspect that the Fig showdown will be a close race, so I would REALLY appreciate your VOTE should you deem my recipe worthy. CLICK HERE to register on the site and place your VOTE for my “FIG AND ANISE CLAFOUTIS”. Below, you can watch a video of Amanda and Merrill making the two finalist fig dishes, which is way fun.
I am so pleased with the way this recipe turned out, and am thrilled just to have been chosen as a finalist in the competition. I encourage all of you fig lovers to try this recipe while fresh figs are still in season, it really is special!
Cheers and Thanks – Steve
- 20 Black Mission Figs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds, toasted
- 1 plump vanilla bean pod
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon Calvados
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons of AP flour, sifted
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- Zest of one lemon, finely minced, about 1 packed teaspoon
- Preheat the oven to 400 F
- Butter and sugar a 10 1/2 inch round baking dish
- Cut the stems off the figs, and quarter them lengthwise
- Spread the almond pieces of a sheet tray and toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes, until nicely golden, remove from the oven and set aside.
- Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and using a sharp knife, scrape the seeds out of the pod and onto a small plate.
- Place the anise seeds in a small, dry saute pan over low heat and toast gently till fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat, and when ready, add the butter, honey, 1/2 of the vanilla seeds, and the vanilla pod, stir well. Add the figs, a pinch of salt, the anise seeds, and cook, tossing occasionally, 2-3 minutes, until the figs are starting to soften, and are well coated with the honey butter.
- Pour the figs into the prepared baking dish, and spread evenly across the bottom. Remove the vanilla pod, and sprinkle with the toasted almond pieces.
- Zest the lemon with a fine toothed micro-plane, reserve.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, blend the eggs until frothy, add the balance of the vanilla seeds, the lemon zest, the sugar, cream, and milk, and Calvados, and mix well. Add the flour and a pinch of salt, and mix until well incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes.
- Pour the batter over the figs, and place the dish in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the center puffs and turns a deep golden color, and the clafoutis feels firm and set, about 30-40 minutes.
- Transfer to a cooling rack. Serve slightly warm, or at room temperature, dusting with confectioner’s sugar, and with a dollop of freshly whipped cream if desired.