A lush, yet light dessert that's much better if made a day ahead. Take a bit of fig on the tip of your fork, sweep it through the mascarpone and pop it into your partner's mouth. Mascarpone is a dense, creamy fresh cheese from Italy. If it isn't available, whip some heavy cream and flavor it with vanilla. Use organic ingredients if possible.
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup honey, or to taste
- 6 whole dried white or black figs
- Water as needed
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Generous pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese or whipped cream
Combine the wine, honey and figs in a 3- or 4-quart non-reactive saucepan. Add enough water to barely cover the figs. Stir in the cinnamon, pepper, salt and vanilla. Bring to a simmer. Cook partially covered for about 30 minutes or until figs are tender, but not falling apart. If making ahead, cool and refrigerate the fruit in its syrup.
Serve by setting room-temperature figs, stem-side up, on two dessert dishes. Boil down cooking liquid until syrupy (about 8 to 10 minutes). Spoon over the fruit. Place a generous daub of mascarpone or whipped cream next to each serving.