This. Is. It. The thing I crave from Kenny and Zukes. I want this on my bagel. I want it on my crackers. I basically want it on everything, but on figs it becomes an elegant fall appetizer that would be perfect with a dry, crisp white wine.
Figs are so exotic to me. I find them deep and mysterious like a dark pool of water in a forgotten garden. They have this other hidden side to them. When you cut open a fig, it’s like cracking open an egg. There’s a secret world that is gorgeous and detailed. Deep purple, like these mission figs, feels like a fall color to me. I can’t really wear purples, but eating these gets me in mood for cool weather and cozy little gatherings.
The seeds of a fig are like a thousand tiny pins with the round heads on top, like the kind my mom used to use when she would sew. I love the contrast of color between the deep purple, the light green of the inside just below the peel, and the blush colored seeds and fruit. I loved it so much I couldn’t resist making a color palette:
You can download the swatches file (for Adobe creative users) from Adobe Kuler here.
So let’s talk about this cream cheese madness. I am a sucker for a soft cream cheese dip or spread. This one is super decadent with the addition of mascarpone cheese and then I added a touch of tang with some farmer’s cheese. If you don’t know what farmer’s cheese is, you can check this out. I use Lifeway farmer’s cheese because it’s the only brand they had at my grocery store but it’s delicious. It’s like a thick cottage cheese, non-fat, probiotic and has a terrific tang.
Everything gets put into the food processor and blended. I like some walnut pieces left larger and tossed in at the end, they are like little gold mines when you find one and get a large crunch!
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 5 ounces farmer’s cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- Drizzle of maple syrup (about two teaspoons)
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Let the cheeses come to room temperature. Add them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse them together a few times and then blend for about 30 seconds.
- Add the maple syrup and blend for 10 seconds.
- Add the walnuts (reserve a 1/4 cup for adding in at the end or add them all now if you want a creamier consistency) and pulse 5-6 times until they are blended and chopped. Remove the thyme leaves from the stems by holding one end and pulling them off with your other hand, they should slide off as you move your fingers down the stem. Add the leaves to the cheese mixture and pulse 3-4 times until incorporated.
- Add in the remaining walnuts, if using, and pulse a few more times until they are roughly chopped and incorporated into the mixture.