FIGS & CASHEW CREAM
Figs may be my favorite and, sadly, most fleeting summer fruit up here in Portland. Their juicy, jumbly bodies appear in the stores in late July and have become less and less available. I still buy them like a mad woman, squirreling some in the back of the fridge, eating other right out of hand, skin, stem and all. They are dripping with flavor and sensuality, I've loved them since first reading of their powers in Greek mythology as a little girl.
I've found figs do best at peak ripeness without much adornment. This raw cashew cream comes together in moments and is a velvety respite from the tang and sweetness of a perfectly jolly fig. In my fantasy life, I have a personal chef to make all vegan, raw foods to make me a super human. This dessert or snack is the closest I'll get to that idea, and it's the ideal ending to an early Autumn supper. Enjoy this simple pairing with any cup of tea. I've got rose petal infusion on the brain and have been sipping this type all day.
Figs & Cashew Cream
serves 4-6 for dessert
10 ripe figs, cut in half
1 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 scant cup of water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey or agave syrup
1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup large coconut shreds
dark chocolate bar, shaved (optional)
Cover cashews in water and soak for 6 hours or overnight. When ready to make dessert, strain the soaked cashews. In a blender place cashews, scant one cup water, vanilla, salt, agave and coconut oil into the vessel. Blend for about 2 minutes at high speed, until completely smooth. Taste and add more sweetness or salt, if desired. Set aside.
Meanwhile, slice figs and toast coconut shreds in a medium, un-greased pan for about 4 minutes, until coconut is slightly brown and fragrant. Shave a chocolate bar or cut chocolate into very small pieces to garnish dish.
When serving, spread cashew cream onto base of a pretty platter, arrange fruit on top of cashew cream and finish with toasted coconut and chocolate. Serve chilled or room temperature.