Baked Figs with Mascarpone & Crushed Amaretti
This is a simple and classic dessert from Italy. If you have the ingredients at hand this is a quick dessert to whip up. A great summer dessert, which is complimented by a nice glass of amaretto. You can make the Amaretti biscuits or you can find them at any good Italian deli, they will be in a red tin with each biscuit individually wrapped in paper.
Fresh Figs, 1 per person
3 Tablespoons softened, salted butter
Brown sugar for coating
Fresh Mascarpone, 1 tablespoon per person
For the Amaretti:
4 Ounces/125 grams blanched, sliced almonds
4 Ounces/125 grams powdered sugar
1 ½ Tablespoons AP/Plain flour
2 Large egg whites
2 Ounces/65 Grams Fine sugar (castor/bakers sugar)
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
Preheat the oven to 355°F/180°C. Place the almonds and the powdered sugar into a food processor and process until it resembles a fine powder. In a clean bowl, begin whisking the egg whites. When they are whiter and frothy, add one tablespoon of the fine sugar and whisk for 30 second. Repeat this step until you have incorporated all of the sugar and the whites are forming a stiff peak. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the almonds until all incorporated. Now you can pipe, spoon or scoop (using a small ice-cream scoop) the mixture on to a baking tray lined with a silpat. If you don’t have a silpat you can use baking paper. Space the mixture 2 inches apart and bake the biscuits until they are light brown, this will take between 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool. Once cooled, place in an airtight container until ready for use.
For the figs, preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Wash and dry the figs and snip off the tip of the stem using a pair of scissors. Cut a cross in the top of the fig (about 1 inch deep). Rub the figs all over with the softened butter and then press the brown sugar onto the figs until well coated. Place the figs in a deep roasting dish and bake for 20 minutes.
Serve the figs hot from the oven with a nice scoop of mascarpone in the cross and simply crush the amaretti on top of the figs, or let your guests crush their own.