Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
September has arrived with the air of the end of summer bringing melancholy and a chill down your spine to cool off your evenings.
Above all, our appetite returns. Today’s protagonist is the symbol of autumn, although climate change makes it a fruit at the end of August instead of September.
I must confess that this fruit is irresistible to me. I really love it and understand why it has been associated with “eros” since antiquity.
We can find many types for sale although the most common here is the juicy green fig with a thin peel. But let’s not forget the black fig, dry and sweet but less delicate.
The purple fig is the best; juiciest, sweet, very delicate and difficult to find. I was very surprised to discover that what we are familiar with is really not the fruit, but a meaty receptacle that gathers a large number of granules called “acheni” which are the real fruit of the plant.
Also note that there are two types of plants, one that produces only once a year call “unifere” or domestic figs, which ripens in September.
The others are “bifere” or domestic figs , which produces in both May and September. The second one is not available in our area.
In September, I eat figs like this: at the end of its production, after eating it many times with salami, we cook the fig. We peel it and put it in a cooking pot with honey. We will discover which honey next week.
I delicately cook the figs for about an hour, drying them but not turning them into jelly, and let them cool.
In the meantime, I line single portion pie tins with pasta frolla. I make a hole in the base and put them in the oven at 180° for 9 minutes, until lightly browned.
When ready, I take out the pie crust and fill with the fig mixture. I put it on a caramel sauce made with 100 grams of sugar with 150 grams of cream added which forms the caramel sauce.
I decorate with whipped cream and mint, and here is our “crostata di fichi al miele e salsa caramello”. The cold season is beginning. We are covered up and ready for some excess.
We will think about our figures next year!
Matia Barciulli, chef, Technical coordinator Antinori’s restaurants… and father of Brando