Homemade Holidays: Bake Festive Fig Desserts

(Family Features) Whether you’re hosting a family dinner or making a dessert for a friend’s party, bring something special to the holiday table with these amazing dessert recipes. Each delicious bite stars the unique flavor only found in figs.

With their rich honey-like sweetness and delightfully crunchy edible seeds, figs take foods from good to great. Available year-round from Valley Fig Growers, California dried figs are ready to eat right out of the package or can be easily diced, sliced or poached for cooking and baking. For more holiday recipes, visit www.valleyfig.com.

Festive figs11629_UF_page4_image1Sweet Potato Pie with Fig and Pecan Topping
Makes 8 servings
Pie:

1 ready-made refrigerated pie crust
1 can (15-ounce) sweet potatoes
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4cup whipping cream

Topping:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup stemmed, chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid figs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon brandy or water
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 450°F. Let pie crust stand at room temperature 15 minutes; unroll and press against side and bottom of 9-inch pie pan (glass recommended). Fold excess crust under and press together to form thick crust edge; flute.

Drain sweet potatoes; mash or whirl in food processor until smooth (potatoes should measure 1 1/8 cups). In medium bowl whisk together sweet potatoes, brown sugar, spice and salt. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, and cream. Pour filling into crust. Bake pie 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350°F, shield edge of pie with a ring (or strips) of foil to prevent overbrowning, and continue baking for 25 to 30 minutes or until center moves slightly when shaken. Remove pie to wire rack to cool.

For topping, in small saucepan stir butter and brown sugar over medium heat until melted. Stir in figs, maple syrup and brandy. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until reduced to a thick, glossy syrup. Remove from heat and stir in pecans. Spoon evenly over warm pie. Cool. Chill for up to 8 hours before serving.

Festive figs11629_UF_page4_image4

Chocolate Ganache Tart With Glazed Figs and Nuts
Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
1 cup packed (6 ounces) Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun- Maid Figs, stemmed and halved*
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons almond-, hazelnut-or orange-flavored liqueur
1/2 cup whipping cream
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted or lightly salted mixed nuts (omit peanuts and select hazelnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, almonds and pecans)
Whipped cream, optional

Preheat oven to 450°F. Unroll pie crust and press into bottom and up side of 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Prick all over with fork. Bake until light brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Cool on rack.

In small saucepan, combine figs and water. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 2 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and simmer, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in liqueur. Let steep 10 minutes. Strain figs through fine-meshed sieve, reserving syrup. While figs cool, in small saucepan, bring cream to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until smooth. Spread over baked crust.

Refrigerate 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to firm up but is not set. Alternate fig slices and nuts in concentric circles on tart, pressing slightly into chocolate to secure. Chill 2 hours or up to 1 day. To serve, brush figs and nuts with reserved syrup. Remove side from tart pan and place tart on platter. Cut into wedges. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

*Cut large figs (greater than 1 1/4-inch diameter at the base) into three lengthwise slices.

Festive figs11629_UF_page4_image2German Chocolate Cake With Broiled Fig and Coconut Topping
Makes 2 single-layer cakes

Cake:
1 18 1/4-ounce German Chocolate Cake Mix (Check cake mix for  additional ingredients — oil, eggs, water)

Fig-Coconut Topping:
1 cup stemmed, chopped Blue Ribbon  Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid  Figs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
6 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2  cup chopped, toasted pecans

Follow package directions and prepare two 8-inch round cakes. Bake and cool as directed.

 

For topping, in medium saucepan combine figs, sugar, butter and cream.

Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in coconut and pecans. Spread warm topping on top of each cake layer, dividing evenly.

Place one cake at a time on baking sheet or heatproof pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 15 to 30 seconds, or until topping bubbles, watching constantly. Remove from oven. Repeat with second cake. Cool. Transfer cakes to serving plates to serve

Chocolate Fig Crinkles

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened

Festive figs11629_UF_page4_image32 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup stemmed, finely chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Beat brown sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Beat in melted chocolate. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.

In medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. On low speed, slowly beat into chocolate mixture. Stir in figs. Cover bowl and chill 3 hours.

 

To bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Form 1-tablespoon portions of dough into balls. Roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place balls, 2 1/2 inches apart, on greased baking sheet.

Place sheet in center of oven and bake cookies 7 to 9 minutes, until crackled on top and set around edges. Cool on wire rack

Source: Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice & Sun-Maid

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