It's been a while since my Break Your Resolutions party, and I just realized I'd neglected to post the recipe for the most delicious - and most challenging - appetizer at the party. Behold, fig crostini with Stilton cheese, honeycomb, port wine reduction, and honey.
I got the idea for this crostini from this recipe, but adapted it heavily - no puff pastry, no walnut crunch, no second baking step. The main thing I used from the original recipe was the cooking technique for the figs, which was fairly straightforward and turned out absolutely delicious.
This was the favorite at the party. One guest shouted, "ohmigod, the figs, the figs!" I'd probably tweak it a little next time and use a softer bread, but otherwise it was great - the flavors worked very well together.
Recipe after the jump.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- Pinch of salt
- 9 fresh figs (preferably black Mission), stemmed, cut lengthwise in half
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup ruby Port
- 1 small baguette, sliced into 18 thinnish slices (they have to be strong enough to hold half a fig, so not too thin!)
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 oz. Stilton or other strong blue cheese, crumbled, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons honeycomb, cut into very small pieces
- 1/4 cup honey (I used Tupelo, but any honey of your choice will do)
(Note: You can use dried figs for this if you can't find fresh ones. Just submerge the dried figs in water for about 20 minutes and they will be reconstituted and ready to use.)
For the figs:
Stir 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and salt in heavy large skillet
over medium heat until sugar is evenly moist. Cook until sugar begins
to turn golden, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes (mixture may be
Place figs in sugar mixture, cut side down, and cook until figs begin to release juice, about 3 minutes. Add butter; swirl skillet to melt. Remove skillet from heat. Add Port and let stand 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Using slotted spoon, transfer figs to plate and cool. Return syrup to boil, whisking until smooth. Cool syrup completely.
Note: Figs and syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill. Rewarm syrup before using. (I did this, and the syrup was difficult to work with at a chilled temperature, so set it out at room temperature after you remove it from the refrigerator. It will be sticky but easy to spoon out of the bowl into a saucepan at room temperature.)
For the crostini:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in saucepan; lightly brush baguette slices with butter. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake for a few minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes.
Drizzle syrup lightly over bread slices. Crumble Stilton over each slice. Place one fig half on each slice. Drop a couple of small pieces of honeycomb onto the slice next to the fig. Drizzle a little syrup over the top of each fig only - don't put any over the cheese. Lightly drizzle a little honey over the whole crostini.