y Nan… I can hear her now, exclaiming, ” Myyyy God” after tasting, well, just about any dessert she could get her hands on. She had the biggest sweet tooth, her and her mother alike, and it seems it was past down to myself as well.
I can remember christmas celebrations with all of my family back in New York, cousins running up and down the stairs, my dad and uncle jamming away on the guitar leading the rest of our parents in a Beatles medley sing-along. And where was I? I was the curly haired chubbo pounding cannoli after cannoli, rummaging thru white cardboard boxes full of Italian pastries like sfogliatelle, sesame cookies, and fresh pizelle hot off the iron. Oh to be young and have a metabolism faster than Usain Bolt…I even managed to get sick one christmas when my aunt ordered a jumbo sized Cannoli (the size of an infant!) surrounded by dozens of mini cannoli shells for each to stuff to their liking. Devastating…
Today I still love my sweets, but most of my meals are followed up by some combination of fresh fruit or an ice pop, not the elaborate puffed treats of my youth. Yet, now and again I find my bulbous-pastry side aching for something a little more…how do you say…rich?
Here’s a recipe for a quick, simple, and thankfully healthy dessert that tastes much more decadent than the ingredients would lead you to believe:
Fichi con Ricotta e Miele (Figs with Ricotta and Honey)
6-8 Large Figs (any variety, so long as their plump and tender…that’s right)
1/2 Cup Quality Ricotta
Powdered Sugar, Honey
I did not supply measurements for the Powdered Sugar or Honey because that’s really dependent on your own taste. Some may like their ricotta sweeter with only a touch of honey, I on the other hand prefer mildly sweet ricotta with plenty of good honey drizzled all over the place.
Start first by heating your grill on high. Whilst your grill is heating, rinse and dry your figs and then cut in half. Place the figs cut-side down on the grill and close the lid (they should only take a couple minutes).
Whilst they grill wisk together your ricotta and as much powdered sugar as you’d like, 1 large tablespoon is a good starting point. Whisk until light and airy. By now you can remove your warm, oozing figs from the grill and arrange on a plate with the sweet ricotta dolloped in the middle. Drizzle only your finest quality honey over every inch of the figs and a little more on the ricotta. Lastly, let your obese inner-self take over and go at them like a soldier on leave.
The figs, bubbling with sweet sweet nectar, are surreal on their own. But the addition of soft, pillowy ricotta similar to cannoli filling and the extra etherial hum of honey makes things all the better. In roughly 10 minutes you’ve got a dessert that can make your knees buckle, and it won’t be due to an excess of calories either.
I hope the little fat kid inside of you is smiling, because mine is passed out on the flour with honey-glazed fingers and powdered sugar all over his shirt…lucky little guy.