Get ready to savor a one-of-a-kind dessert experience that combines the velvety richness of goat cheese custard with the earthy sweetness of roasted figs. This unique dessert is a captivating blend of creamy indulgence and natural sweetness, defying expectations and leaving a lasting impression.
Sweet Custard with Goat Cheese
As the figs start gracing the farmers’ markets and stores, and trust me, I absolutely love it—especially those delightful Brown Turkey figs—my mind goes back to last year when I bought a bag of dried figs. These versatile little wonders turned into the most delicious dried fig jam.While the season is still on, I will make some fresh fig and strawberry jam.
In the meantime, I was inspired by a recipe in my Fresh and Light cookbook by Donna Hay to make this roasted fig in goats cheese custard.
Here is Why This Recipe Works
- Unexpected Harmony of Flavors: This dish beautifully marries the creamy richness of goat cheese with the natural sweetness of roasted fruit. The result is a delightful blend of contrasting flavors that come together in perfect harmony.
- Creamy Indulgence: The creamy custard bake, with its silky-smooth texture and a hint of tanginess, is luxurious and decadent. It’s the kind of dessert that feels indulgent without being overly heavy.
- Make-Ahead Convenience: You can make the custards up to three days in advance. Whether planning a special dinner party or just wanting to treat yourself to something special, the convenience factor allows you to focus on other aspects of your meal planning.
- Unexpected Elegance: This dessert possesses an air of sophistication that will impress guests or elevate an everyday meal into a memorable occasion. It’s a conversation starter and a true showstopper.
Ingredients for the Cheese Custards
Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this baked custard.
- Produce: Ripe fresh figs, lemon, thyme
- Dairy and Eggs: Soft goat cheese, heavy cream, eggs.
- Pantry: Honey, sugar, salt.
Soft fresh goat cheese is the secret ingredient that makes our custard exceptionally smooth and balances the flavors just right. Its creaminess mirrors that of cream cheese, ensuring a luscious texture. Plus, its mild flavor lets the roasted figs shine without overpowering the dessert.
How to Make this Luxurious Dessert
Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with the instructions. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.
- Slice the figs in half, brush them with honey and roast them until caramelized.
- Mix the cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Add the eggs, cream, lemon, and salt. Blend until creamy
- Fill the custard cups and top with the fruit and bake.
- Let the cheese custards cool to room temperature then store them in the fridge.
Swap the fruit: Replace the fresh figs with an equal amount of one of the following fruits: blackberries, strawberries, plums, apricots, or rhubarb.
Citrus Infusion: Add a burst of citrus flavor by substituting orange zest and juice for lemon. Garnish with candied orange peel.
Nutty Delight: Sprinkle finely chopped toasted almonds or hazelnuts on top of the custard after baking. Drizzle a touch of honey over the nuts.
Tips for Success
- Allow the cheese to come to room temperature before mixing. It blends more smoothly and evenly when it’s not too cold.
- When placing the custard-filled dishes in a larger pan with hot water, be cautious not to splash water into the custard. The water bath creates gentle, even heat for baking.
- Allow the custards to cool for about 10 minutes after baking before removing them from the hot water bath. This gradual cooling helps prevent cracking.
- For the best taste and texture, refrigerate the custards until well chilled before serving. This dessert is at its finest when enjoyed cold.
- Remember that you can prepare the custards up to three days in advance, making it a convenient option for planning your meals or gatherings.
- Make sure you use oven proof ramekins. They are shallow and look like miniature tart pans. Don’t use the deeper ramekins or it will affect the baking time.
Refrigeration is Key: Keep the custards in an airtight container or cover them securely with plastic wrap, then, store them in the refrigerator. You can keep them for up to four days.
Not Freezer-Friendly: Although these custards are delicious when fresh, it is not recommended to freeze them as the texture may be affected.
Frequently Asked Questions
Using a water bath ensures even and gentle cooking, preventing cracking in the custards. You can skip the step if you want, but I don’t recommend it.
The primary difference lies in the ingredients and cooking methods. Custard relies on eggs for thickening and has a smoother but firmer texture, while pudding typically uses starch and has a creamier, spoonable texture.
Sometimes the most surprising combinations make for the most unforgettable experiences in the kitchen. So, whether you’re serving this goat’s cheese custard to friends or simply treating yourself, remember: the sweetest moments often arise when we embrace the unexpected in our cooking. Here’s to savoring life’s delightful surprises, one delicious bite at a time!
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More Chilled or Frozen Desserts
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart
- Peaches and Cream Tart
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Chocolate Samoa Dessert Lasagna
- 31 Cool Summer Dessert Ideas
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For the Roasted Figs:
- 8-10 ripe fresh figs, any variety
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
For the Custard:
- 8-ounce log soft goat cheese (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon lemon zest
- pinch of salt
For the Figs:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper
- Use non-stick spray to coat six individual 8-ounce oven-proof baking dishes and place them in a shallow pan.
- Wash the figs in cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Remove the stems, and cut each fig in half; place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Add the honey to a small dish and microwave for 10 seconds, brush the figs with the warm honey and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Transfer the baking sheet to the middle of the oven and roast them for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
Goat Cheese Custard
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
- Add the soft goat cheese and sugar to a mixing bowl, and beat for 1-2 minutes to combine. With the mixer running, add the egg and yolk, one at a time, blending well between each addition.
- Stop the mixer and add the cream. Mix well. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Continue to blend on medium speed for 1 minute, stop the motor and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue mixing for an additional 30 seconds.
- Fill each dish with the cheese mixture and add 3 halves of cooled roasted figs to the top of each dish. Place the dishes in the larger pan and transfer to the oven. Carefully pour hot water into the larger pan to reach half-way up the sides of the dishes.
- Bake the custards for 20 minutes, transfer from the oven to the counter-top and allow the custards to cool slightly, (about 10 minutes) before removing from the hot water.
- This custard dessert is best served chilled.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 211mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 3gSugar: 43gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.