October 26th, 2012 :: 2 comments :: permalink

I’ve only seen figs in passing, but have had an admiration for this seemingly passé fruit with alien like insides. Figs alone are not very sweet… at least for someone with a major sweet tooth like myself, but I was certain I could make a sweet treat using them.

I knew I wanted to make some sort of pastry to accompany a fig sauce and I’ve always liked profiteroles. On one of my visits to Nebraska as a young child, my grandmother served me this fluffy pasty with ice cream. Even better, I learned that they ate dessert at both lunch and dinner. I was in heaven.

First preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Gather all your ingredients for the profiteroles. That’s 1/2 cup water, 1/2 stick butter, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 3 eggs.

In a saucepan, combine the water, butter and salt and bring to a boil.

After it starts to boil, reduce the heat and add the flour. Stir the mixture with a good amount of force.

Once the mixture has combined completely and forms into a ball, remove the pan from heat.

Let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes and then add the eggs one by one, mixing each egg fully into the batter before adding the next one.

Edna (my sister and helper), has strong arms from working as a cook, so she was able to stir the batter sufficiently vigorously. If you aren’t that hardcore, there is nothing wrong with using an electric mixer. Not everyone has a sister with a culinary arts degree at their disposal!

I just bought a non-stick silicone baking sheet which works great, but regular parchment paper would also have worked just fine. After filling a pastry bag with all of the batter, we took turns squeezing out little dollop shapes. You can also roll the batter into balls if you don’t want to worry about making the shapes perfectly. The dollops grow rather large once you bake them, so keep some space between each one.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until they are fluffy. Make sure they don’t burn. Cool on a rack or place the pastries on a room temperature plate to cool.

For the sauce, all you need is a handful of peeled figs, 1/4 cup of white sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 cup water, and one tablespoon of butter.

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer or a very light boil. I didn’t want the sauce to reduce too much, so I only cooked it for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

My goal was to  create a lighter and brighter alternative to the chocolate-doused profiteroles I love. My fig sauce didn’t have the sweetness I usually get with a chocolate sauce, which was a problem for a moment, but adding a small scoop of vanilla ice cream brought everything together nicely, so that’s the way we ate them. While doing so, we talked about what to call this little project. Dustin had a good idea. Pro”fig”eroles.

Vanilla Custard

December 19th, 2011 :: 0 comments :: permalink

Our original idea was to make custard to fill puff pastries, but while making it we realized it was enough of a dessert on its own and maybe too much in a pastry. You can top the custard with blueberries, lemon zest, powdered sugar, raspberries and I’m sure much more.

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