Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Berries and Figs with Honey-Basil Cream

Summer Berries and Figs

Now that it is fig season, I just had to make my favorite summer fig dessert.  As Janet Hazen in her little book, Basil says The flavor of basil paired with fresh figs and summer berries in this unique dessert is sure to leave a lasting impression on you and your dining companions.   This was first served to us many years ago by a dear friend who also recommend Hazen's  little book,  I hurried right out to find the  book, and I've been using it for many years for unique recipes using basil including this recipe.

This recipe makes from 4 to 6 servings.

Honey-Basil Cream:
1 pint heavy cream
½ cup water
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup finely chopped fresh sweet basil leaves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Figs and Berries:
1 pint Black Mission figs, trimmed and quartered (or halved if small)
½ pint strawberries stemmed and halved
½ pint raspberries
½ pint blackberries
Sprigs of basil, for garnish.
To Make the Honey-Basil Cream:
Place the cream, water, and honey in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from boiling over.   Add the basil and reduce the heat to moderate, cook for 20 minutes until the cream is thick and pale brown.  Add the vanilla and mix well.  Strain through a fine wire sieve and transfer to a small saucepan.  Keep warm over low heat until ready to use. 
Combine the figs and berries in a large bowl; mix gently.  Arrange in serving dishes and drizzle with the warm Honey-Basil Cream.  Garnish with the sprigs of basil, and serve immediately. 

I had a beautiful basil plant from which to gather my basil.
Beautiful basil plant.

I found these lovely figs at Costco.

Black Mission figs.

With Alice's help I made the Honey-Basil Cream.  It was great to have someone to help with the stirring and with the preparation of the fruit. 
Chopping the basil.

Stirring the Cream mixture.

Adding the basil. 

Gently mix the figs and the berries in a large bowl.
Figs and berries ready to serve.

Strain the Honey-Basil Cream to remove the basil.  You really just want the flavor of the basil in the Cream.

Serve in individual dishes topped with the warm Cream and garnished with a sprig of basil.

Drizzle the warm cream over the berries and figs.
Ready to enjoy.
 If you like basil, I can highly recommend Janet Hazen's book, Basil.

Basil by Janet Hazen.


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