Fig & Goat Cheese Clafoutis

Fig Clafoutis 11

Champagne_Glass_Image_courtesy_of_eyehook_comAs a kid, the question “What’s your favorite fruit?” inevitably popped up across conversations with the majority of adults I encountered. It was part of the ‘getting to know you’ sequence, fielded by well-meaning adults who wanted to make conversation but didn’t quite know what else to say to an eight-year-old, usually emerging after the standard pleasantries about how big I’ve grown since the last time we met and what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was also a reserve of trivia information to draw on when faced with situations where I had to share ‘three things’ about myself, often in a new class at church and school at the start of every year. At various points, my responses have included: the orange, mangoes, custard apples, and, for added flourish, the durian, which was especially enjoyable for the horrified reactions it elicited from non-durian lovers. I could have said ‘a dead mouse’ and it would have been the same thing.

Despite these strategically chosen replies to an over-used introduction, I’ve never had a strong affinity for any fruit in particular. Perhaps I was spoilt by the variety of fruit choices in Singapore all year round, immune from the seasonality of raspberries, strawberries and apples, that I took them all for granted and found them ‘boring’.

Since I meeting my in-laws five years ago, however, there has been one fruit that has managed to keep its hold on my heart: Figs. Black Mission Figs, if you want to be specific. Plucked fresh from the tree, rinsed and eagerly bitten into, finished in three quick bites (sometimes two), a short pause, and the cycle repeats.

Fig Clafoutis montage_landscape

There were other garden harvests on the day of my fig encounter, all artfully arranged in the fruit bowl waiting to be eaten: cherries, apricots and strawberries for instance. But I had blinders on; it was the figs I was after. I was addicted to its intense, jammy sweetness, the texture of its soft tender flesh spiked with tightly-packed seeds, all conspiring to orchestrate a whole new symphony of flavors in the mouth. I had never tasted anything quite like it, and although I wouldn’t qualify the experience as ‘epiphanic’, it was pretty close. I could have lived off the tree’s entire harvest for the rest of the season, if not for the fact that we were only visiting for two weeks.

Despite an absence of figs in Singapore, my fig experience stayed with me long after summer ended. When M made another trip to France in the summer, I knew what I had to do. I ‘ordered’ a big tub of fresh figs from the tree, and set to work researching a host of recipes to showcase this delicious fruit.

Fig Clafoutis montage 2

Melissa’s recipe caught my eye for its novel combination of figs with goat cheese (goat cheese?) in a ‘clafoutis’ (clare-foo-tee). Although seriously averse to the supposed joys and delights of cheese in general, I decided to give this recipe a go, seeing as how it captured the fruit in its purest form, instead of turning it into mush as I would’ve done in a jam. It turned out to be an excellent combination (whoever thought that figs and goat cheese could taste so good?), with the tangy cheese offsetting the combined richness of the figs and custard. Each bite was so delicious and effective in fixing my fig craving, but, like a tease, left me contemplating about second helpings.

15 Comments

  1. jo

    Love the combination of figs and goat cheese. In fact had wanted to make one just the other day but couldn’t find the cheese. Ended up with another version of fig tarts which was tasty too. Love the clicks.

  2. thanks for checking out the blog!

    Yeah, the project is a great addition to Spoonful and something I hope to continue adding onto while maintaining restaurant reviews. The longevity of the project will depend on how long miss debbie wants to do it and it’ll hopefully continue to be a monthly entry/post. sooooo keep your eyes peeled. 🙂

  3. Jeremy

    Wow that looks fantastic. A similar cheese fruit combo that I didn’t think would work, but is great is dates+sliver of Parmesan+walnut. BTW, I work with M and am a big fan of your blog.

  4. This sounds fantastic! I’m a recent fig fan. Ohh they’re so yummy! Haven’t brought myself to make anything with them yet – too busy scarfing them in their perfect raw state. May go get more this weekend…

  5. Jeremy: Thanks for stopping by! I’ll be sure to share some goodies with you next time you’re in the area 🙂

    Hillary: Thanks for the suggestion, but seeing as this isn’t my original recipe, I’ll save my contribution for another time.

    Husband: Thanks, yes, the flavors are truly awesome.

    Jen: I hope you’ll like this as much as I do!

    Felicia: I was in the same situation too when I first saw figs. They look so unremarkable but their flavors are so divine.

    Anna: I know how that feels. It’s almost a sacrifice to have to pass up gobbling the fruits for a baked dish 🙂

    Ninette: You’ve given me an idea for an appetizer now, so thanks!

  6. Pingback: Fig Torte & A Paper Lovely Giveaway | Beyond [the Plate]

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