They work beautifully as a slightly sweet appetizer. Or serve them as a not-too-sweet dessert. Perhaps you prefer them as a lunch or snack with a light salad to pump up the energy level on a hot summer day. Any which way, Fig and Mascarpone Slices are thoroughly delightful.
During the summer, there is nothing better than simple fail-safe treats you can put together with barely any fuss at all. These slices take barely 5 minutes to put together if you’ve got mascarpone and if not, you can easily make that cheese from scratch with just 2 ingredients.
When I spied the jar of Golden Door organic fig preserves, I immediately knew that would be my central ingredient. This stuff is thick and smooth, slightly sweet – think of apple butter, but richer and better. The ingredients are all organic and mostly figs, with just sugar, lemon juice and pectin to complete the preserves. My first spoonful could easily have lead to more – with or without bread or a slice of fruit as a “vehicle” for the preserves, but I’m guessing that giving directions for how to eat it straight out of the jar wouldn’t count as a recipe.
That’s when I decided to pair the fig preserves with mascarpone cheese, a slightly rich version of heavy cream, heated with a small amount of lemon juice, white vinegar or another acidic substance. Mascarpone is rich, creamy, and slightly tangy at the end. It is frequently used in Italian desserts such as tiramisu. Closely related in taste and texture to English clotted cream or French crème fraiche, mascarpone isn’t too far from excellent cream cheese, softened and mixed with a bit of heavy or sour cream. But honestly, it’s so easy to make you should try it.
Spread on thin slices of good baguette, the fig and mascarpone are yin and yang, creamy and fruity, tangy and sweet. As a finish I added finely chopped walnuts on some slices and drizzled high quality balsamic vinegar on others. If you’re adventurous, you could use drizzle liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Cognac instead of balsamic vinegar, use pistachios instead of walnuts, or even top the slices with a few small pieces of crystallized ginger. Avoiding bread? Apple or pear slices are a great substitute as the “bottom” for the preserves and cheese. No matter how you put them together, fig and mascarpone slices make an elegant snack, start or finish to any summer meal.
Fig and Mascarpone Slices
Servings – 20 or more slices
- 1 baguette
- ½ cup of homemade mascarpone made from heavy cream and fresh lemon juice (directions herefrom my earlier blogpost on how to make mascarpone)
- 1 jar of Golden Door Organic Fig Preserves
- Toppings: walnuts, balsamic vinegar, etc.
- Cut the baguette into thin slices.
- Spread each slice with about 1 teaspoon of mascarpone cheese.
- Lightly layer 1 heaping teaspoon of fig preserves over the mascarpone.
- Dot each baguette slice with a topping.
The slices are best served soon after you put them together.
I received the Golden Door fig preserves and several other products as an incentive to create a recipe and I could receive a prize if my recipe wins the Golden Door challenge. As always, all opinions and content are my own.