Balsamic Figs & Lemon Crème
My neighbor at my Oma & Opa’s house (that’s grandma & grandpa in German) has a beautiful Mission fig tree in their backyard in southern California. It has dark, bare, rustic branches during the off-season, then starts to grow these perfect little green and purple packages and fresh green leaves in spring and fall. By summer and (especially) winter, these figs are full of sweet jam and have developed into a deep purple color. The birds (hummingbirds especially!) enjoy the treats as well.
Our beloved friend elevated those plump, gorgeous figs into a dessert with some cream cheese and lemon curd, and let me tell you, they were to live for. This is my veganized version, which also just so happens to be fully raw. It is an elegant, refined dish that will wow any palate. It’s the kind of beautiful dish that will impress your friends, and they won’t even know how insanely easy it is!
Figs are truly a spectacular sight. It’s a delightful feeling to tear the dark, soft outer skin to discover the gorgeous maroon and pink colors within. Each fig has its own slight variance of color inside and out. They’ve got to be within the world’s top 10 most beautiful fruit. And the taste of a plump, ripe fig is just sheer happiness in a bite. Then top them with some lemon cashew cream? IN-CROY-ABLAY. It was a huge hit with my posh clients in London, and is extraordinary at parties. And no one would ever know or care that it was raw, plant-based, and full of wonderful, amazing, anti-aging nutrients! That’s how good it is; even people who avoid healthful foods like the plague will love it!
Okay, I’m sorry for going on. I’m just in love with this dish. You’re a fellow foodie. You know what that’s like, right? Alright, without further ado, I give you:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1-2 tsp raw honey
- 1 tsp good vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pure water
- 1 pinch of salt
- 16 figs, cleaned
- lemon zest
- drizzled raw honey
- thick, sweet (good quality) balsamic vinegar
- Combine the cream ingredients in an emulsion blender and blend until smooth. We are looking for a thick consistency similar to a cream cheese frosting. Add limited extra water if necessary.
- Cut the figs in half and remove their stems. Slice off a thin piece of skin on the rounded half of the fig so that it sits flat and still on the plate. Arrange them on a serving plate and add a generous dollop of the cream mixture to the top.
- Add any of your desired toppings and watch as people devour these faster than the ridiculously short take it takes to make them!
- The strong taste of mint overpowers the subtler tastes of this dish. Use it for a pop of color, but do not serve it as a garnish to be eaten.