Many of my readers are crazy about my fresh-in-season black mission brandied figs that seem to keep forever marinating in a refrigerated figgy jar in Europe’s preferred cognac, Asbach Uralt. I’ve used them a year later. Eventually the riper figs macerate. The cognac and the natural figgy jus marry and congeal.
That’s what you want to use at the moment – the macerated bits and gelatinous jus.
You want to make a special milkshake or smoothie. In a cup of the black mission fig jus mix, blender buzz a cup of your favourite milk, mixed with a few coins of delicious room temperature Celebrity brand fig goat cheese log.
You don’t need bananas or any other item. This is a concentration of sweet fig flavours. However, having said that, add a half cup of my elderberry marinated Medjool date syrup. Some people prefer honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness. My creamy caramelized Jack Daniel Whiskey sauce works.
Now for something extra special. You could pour the thick smoothie or milkshake over homemade fig ice cream. Serve in a stemmed deep-dish ice cream dish. Add a sprig of fresh mint leaf from your counter pot.
When I was growing up, wild mint was overtaking many neighbourhood yards. The fragrance was overwhelming. Homeowners tried to get rid of it. People driving down the street would stop by with their herb collection baskets. So many uses for fresh mint back in the city.
Perhaps make counter mint-growing a school project. Of course minus the cognac!
Summer or winter, this is a refreshing drink.
If you don’t have marinated black mission figs but happen to have rumtopf (typically made with German rum-preserved fruit), substitute. The preserved fruits out of season make for a delicious drink.
Creamy caramel spirit sauce
Scald two cups of half and half cream and reduce slightly.
In a stovetop pot, warm two cups of granulated sugar and a half cup of boiled cooled water from your kettle. When the sugar is completely dissolved, stir in the hot cream. Add a sprinkle of fresh grated nutmeg. Let the sugar cream mixture thicken just a little, stirring on low heat using a wooden spoon, not metal. Never use metal utensils in metal pots.
Stir in a quarter cup of Tennessee Jack Daniels Whiskey to make a whiskey creamy caramel spirit sauce to pour over ice cream or over figgy pudding. Or use Bacardi Black (Puerto Rico) Rum that has a delicate orange undertone. Grate just a few bits of fresh orange zest and spritz with wonderful Fiero.
Depending on your intended use, you might choose white creme de menthe if serving on peppermint ice cream, or Mampe Halb and Halb or Benedictine if you enjoy bitters on flambéed crepes. And you want to dress homemade plain vanilla ice cream in its Sunday best. Maybe drizzle your favourite spirits cream caramel over your favourite panna cotta just when ready to serve.
Note: This creamy caramel spirit sauce is delicious drizzled over sautéed boneless skinless chicken breasts or satay that are just barely cooked, basted with its butter chicken jus pan drippings. Present on an oversize plate with a side of creamy white Belgian endive.
Do try endive if you haven’t. It’s truly a table joy. For me it’s a special memory maker as I was forced to try it and it turned into a love-it dish. I would never force someone to try food at a table service by embarrassing them among other adults. But that was often the way in a European home, especially after the war. Canadians often were thought to be ignorant at a table and short on table manners. I decided to prove them wrong.
Easy to make. Don’t forget the nutmeg. It’s a must use. Endive can be made creamed in béchamel or shredded for salad or used as individual serving leaves to hold as a taster accommodation.
You might enjoy this sauce dip. To my special caramelized onions, stir in a package of room temperature Celebrity brand cream goat cheese and a half cup of full fat cold sour cream. Stir the onion mix into this creamy caramel spirit sauce.
Put a small dipper dish on a charcuterie board to tempt the palate but offer individual taster dishes to avoid double dipping. You can easily make the dip a day ahead and refrigerate in a glass covered dish until ready to serve.
Over the moon: stir a little of the spirited onion caramel mix into whipped mashed creamy potatoes and serve piping hot with your favourite grilled beefsteak, pork or lamb. Top the potatoes with minced fresh garden oregano petals or Italian flat leaf fresh picked parsley.
I have many wonderful drinks from old columns you might enjoy.
My homemade refrigerated lemonade gin over large ice cubes is a pleasant pairing, served in a special bulbous wine glass ideal for connoisseur gin drinkers’ appreciation.
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