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Fresh Fig & Ricotta Tulips

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  Ripe figs 12 Large
  Ricotta cheese 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Grated lemon peel 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Salt 1⁄8 Teaspoon
  Vanilla 3⁄4 Teaspoon
  Sugar 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Egg white 1
  Whole almond 12 , unblanched

Rinse figs and pat dry.
Trim off stems.
To open figs into tulip shapes cut each fig into 4 petals by cutting through fig from stem end to about 1/2 inch from other end.
Cover and chill, if made ahead.
In a blender container, combine cheese, lemon peel, salt, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar; whirl until smoothly blended.
In a bowl, beat egg white until very foamy; gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; beat until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold beaten white into ricotta mixture; cover and chill up to 4 hours.
To serve, stand 2 to 3 figs upright on each plate.
Gently open each fig, spoon about 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture into center and top with an almond.

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