Yossy Arefi’s Sweeter off the Vine focuses on seasonal fruits and how to incorporate them into desserts.
Sometimes I like to take a nod from my European friends and have a cheese course for dessert. To make it a little bit special, I make these wine-roasted figs with creamy whipped ricotta sweetened with honey. This dessert can be served in shallow bowls with crunchy cacao nibs on top.
- Position a rack at the center of the oven and preheat to 375ºF.
- To roast the figs: Use the tip of a knife to slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; reserve the pod. Stem the figs and slice half of them in half lengthwise (reserve the rest of the figs for later). Put the fig halves in a small baking dish in a single layer. Whisk the honey, wine, and vanilla seeds in a small bowl, then pour the mixture over the figs. Tuck the vanilla pod and bay leaf in among the figs on the baking sheet, then dot the tops of the figs with the butter. Slide the sheet into the oven and bake, stirring occasionally, until the figs are soft and the juices begin to caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes.
- To make the whipped ricotta: Use the tip of a knife to slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; reserve the pod for another use. Add the ricotta, cream, honey, vanilla bean seeds, and salt to a bowl. Whip with an electric mixer or whisk until well-combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- To serve: Slice the remaining figs into quarters. For each serving, spread about 1/3 cup of the whipped ricotta in a shallow bowl, then top with a mixture of the fresh quartered figs and the roasted fig halves. Spoon a tablespoon or so of the wine syrup from the fig roasting pan over the top, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with cacao nibs. Serve immediately
Reprinted with permission from Sweeter Off the Vine, by Yossy Arefi, copyright © 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.