Caramelized Figs with Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Pistachio Crumble

Naturally sweet, juicy, and beautiful, figs are truly the perfect way to cap off a summer meal. Alright, full disclosure: I am no expert in dessert. I’d pick savory over sweet any day of the week, but the odd dessert really does tickle my fancy. Today’s take on dessert is a play on a cheese board, featuring caramelized figs, mascarpone whipped cream, and sweet-and-salty pistachio crumble. This no-fuss dessert I’ve come up with is perfect for fellow cooks like myself because it requires hardly any measuring, minimal baking, and can be altered to be as sweet or savory as you choose. My dish is so easy to make, can be prepared largely ahead of time, and is absolutely stunning! Next dinner party you have featuring a spectrum of dessert lovers and haters, appeal to the masses with this easy, delicious, and impressive sweet and salty dessert.

This fig dessert features only three components, but the true star is the fig. I cut the figs lengthwise and caramelize them in a bit of sugar, butter, and balsamic vinegar for just a minute or two, forming a beautiful golden layer on the open face of the fig. The next component is the mascarpone whipped cream. Mascarpone is almost like cream cheese, but much lighter and smoother. Whipping it with a splash of vanilla, a pinch of salt, and the whipping cream forms a fluffy, sweet and savoury cream component to the dessert. Finally, to counteract the mushy consistency of the fig and whipped cream, I top the dish with the easiest pistachio crumble ever. Simply chop up some roasted pistachios, mix with a bit of salt, flower, and melted butter, and bake for 5 minutes. The crumble adds the essential crunchy component to the dish, but also adds visual appeal, a sweet-salty flavour, and continues on the theme of the cheese board with the pistachios. YUM.

If you’re looking for more ways to highlight the beautiful fig this summer, click here!


Caramelized Figs with Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Pistachio Crumble 
Total time: 15 minutes
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients

For figs
4 fresh figs
1tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

For crumble
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped roasted pistachios
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. salt (unless pistachios are salted)

For mascarpone whipped cream
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350?F
2. Combine pistachios, flour, sugar and salt in bowl, and then mix in melted butter until small chunks form
3. Place ingredients on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake until just starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside until serving (can be done the day before)
4. In the meantime, beat together mascarpone, salt, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Add in whipping cream and continue to beat on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks. Set aside in fridge until serving (can be done 1-2 hours before)
5. Finally, cut figs lengthwise, and dip each open face lightly in sugar. Place butter in pan on high heat. Add balsamic vinegar once the butter has melted. Add figs face-side down to pan. Remove figs once butter has started to brown and bubble a lot. The figs should have a golden-brown colour on the pan-side. Remove from pan and serve warm
6. Plate figs with a dollop of whipped mascarpone and garnish with pistachio crumble
7. Enjoy!

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