Vermouth—it’s not just for Manhattans or Negronis! Bring this spirit into an easy fruit dessert that will leave a big impression. Chef Joanne Weir shares her recipe for California Figs, cooking in sweet vermouth with a dollop of orange honey mascarpone.
Getting a Feel for Figs
Use either Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Mission California Dried Figs in the recipe—our Mission Dried Figs will yield a familiar fig flavor while our Golden Dried Figs offer a delicate nutty taste. What is particularly unique in this recipe is steeping the dried figs overnight with lemon peel. This not only rehydrates the figs but the citrus flavor infuses deep into the fruit. (Hint: try the soaking liquid flavored by figs in your morning oats).
What is Vermouth
If you’ve ever wondered what is vermouth, you’re not alone. This fortified wine infused with herbs swings largely into two styles: dry and sweet. Dry vermouth leans bitter and is clear in color. You can typically find it as an ingredient in martinis or negronis. Sweet vermouth is red in color, less bitter than its dry counterpart and is used in Manhattans or Americanos. what we use in the recipe below.
Cooking with Sweet Vermouth: Fall for This Fruit Dessert
Boiling the figs in a simple syrup bolstered by sweet vermouth is dead easy. While the fruit’s cooking with sweet vermouth, turn your attention to making the creamy topping. Scrape orange zest into the mascarpone. Swirl on the honey and combine for the citrusy honeyed mascarpone. This topping alone might just be what livens up your sweet potato pie or as a spread for Boston brown bread. The simplicity of this dessert is its secret weapon for holiday gatherings and beyond.
If you like this dessert, be sure to check out Chef Joanne Weir’s fig labne parfaits.
Cooking with Vermouth: Sweet Vermouth Figs with Orange Honey Mascarpone
- 1 pound Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs , soaked in water and refrigerated overnight
- One 2-inch piece lemon peel , white pith removed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup sweet vermouth
- 3/4 cup mascarpone
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Drain the figs and lemon peel and place in a large saucepan with 3 cups water. Over high heat, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Bring back to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Add the vermouth, bring back to a boil and immediately remove the pan from the heat.
- Place the mascarpone in a bowl. Add the honey and orange zest and stir until well combined.
- To serve, place a few of the figs in an individual serving bowl and spoon a dollop of the mascarpone onto the top.