- Juan Mari Arzak born (1942)
Baked Fig Pops with Blue Cheese and Candied Almonds
- 1/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 Cup whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 10 fresh figs
- 1/4 Pound good-quality blue cheese
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- Crostini, for serving
"This is a different variation of my cheese tray in a bite — fruit, cheese, nuts in one mouthful — heaven. For slightly heartier fare, throw them on a thin crostini, pushing the figs down slightly so they don’t roll away onto your cocktail party neighbour’s fancy shoes! For a fabulous alternative, feel free to try sliced pears on a crostini instead of figs, as shown in this photo."
— Trish Magwood, author of James Beard Award-winning cookbook Dish Entertains
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small nonstick fry pan over medium heat, cook the sugar until it turns to liquid. Add the chopped almonds and carefully stir until coated. Allow the nuts to cook and candy, about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, remove the nuts to a board.
Cut each fig in 1/2, then cut a small slice off the side of each fig so it will lie flat, cut side up. Arrange the figs, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Top each fig 1/2 with a piece of blue cheese. Break a small piece of the candied almonds and put on top.
Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Immediately drizzle each fig with a little honey and serve warm. Serve figs by themselves or topped on crostini.