05 Aug Herbed Fig & Goat Cheese Popsicles // Eff the Oven August
Last Friday the universe played a big, fat joke on me, y’all. Here I’ve been, planning out all kinds of no-bake recipes to share with you guys. Blabbing on about butt sweat and showing you pictures of dudes in thongs just to make a point about how hot Austin gets in the summer. And then August 1 rolls around and I’m all like EFF THE OVEN, HECK YEA!!!…but when I walk outside it’s the coolest day of the summer, yet. Record setting lows. Mother Nature, why ya gotta go and make me feel like a huge dweeb?
It’s okay, though. We’re still chilling and whipping and definitely not baking around here. Plus, starting Friday we’re hitting 100 degrees for at least 5 days in a row, probably forever. So ha! I win.
In case you missed Friday’s big kick-off, welcome to the second edition of Eff the Oven August!(!!!) I’m turning off the oven for the entire month. That’s right, we’re going 100% no bake. I started things off reaaal nice with this Coconut Cocao Nib Sorbet. We only used 3 ingredients. We talked about Cocao Nibs, the modern-ancient “superfood” with a tiny bit of an identity crisis. It was a party.
You know what else is a super food? Goat cheese. Not in the fancy marketing term, antioxidant-packed sense. More in the tangy, creamy, omg-pie-me-in-the-face-with-that-stuff super food sense. Ya follow?
I’ve been dying to put goat cheese in a dessert since I saw Elizabeth make these Goat Cheese Brownies back in June. And then Cynthia put a spin on a classic and posted these Blackberry Goat Cheese Thumbprint Cookies right about the time that I was in Upstate New York eating wild blackberries off of the bushes behind Steve’s family lake house, and I knew it was meant to be.
But I waited. I waited because I knew I wanted goat cheese in a no-bake, frozen dessert. And since I knew I was going to break up with my oven, I had to put all my frozen recipe ideas in my back pocket for like, a whole 3 weeks. Well, the time is finally here and I could not be more excited about these Herbed Fig & Goat Cheese Popsicles.
We talked about goat cheese. Now figs.
Steve is a fresh fig guy. And by ‘guy’, I mean thief. He’ll pluck them from from trees in people’s front yards or pop them in his mouth as we peruse the produce department at our local grocery. (H-E-B if you’re reading this, I’m sorry!!) Me? I can pass on fresh figs. They’re one of the most beautiful fruit to look at, but taste? Eh. I’d rather eat my way through half a bag of summer cherries.
BUT when roasted with honey and paired with goat cheese, figs take on a whole new appeal. They’re sweet and peppery and completely irresistible. Add some brie and I die.
To quell Steve’s fig habit and satisfy my urge to pair them with all the cheese and honey, I made these guys. Homemade fig puree, tangy goat cheese, fresh thyme (from my tiny herb garden!!) and a splash of bourbon for good measure. They’re a grown-up popsicle, to be sure. I’d say you can omit the bourbon if serving to kids, but I have a hard time imaging a ten-year-old getting excited about a goat cheese popsicle. So leave the bourbon in, it helps keep the popsicles a little soft to the bite and because duh, bourbon.
A few notes about this recipe:
If you’re not a fan of figs, swap them for another fresh fruit of your choice. Cherries, strawberry, or even peaches would be great in this recipe.
To the same point, if you’re not a goat cheese person swap the goat cheese for another creamy dairy product — cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, greek yogurt…you catch my drift.
Stay cool! XO, Katie
- 12 good-sized figs, quartered
- 5 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp bourbon (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups milk or half & half
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp bourbon (optional)
- Combine figs, 2 tbsp honey and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until figs have lost a good amount of water and liquid in the bottom starts to become syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes then transfer to a food processor or blender. Add bourbon and pulse until a thick paste has formed -- leave as few or as many chunks as you'd like! Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium-low heat, until warm but not boiling. Add the thyme. Cover and steep over very low heat for 10 minutes. Remove or strain out the thyme and return to low heat.
- Stir in the honey and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the goat cheese and whisk vigorously to emulsify. If your goat cheese remains lumpy, you may need to transfer the mixer to a food processor for some turbo-blending.
- To assemble, scoop about a tablespoon of fig puree into each popsicle mold. Follow with your goat cheese mixture, filling each mold about half way. Divide the rest of the fig puree between each mold then top off with remaining goat cheese mixture.
- Place on a flat surface in your freezer and freeze until firm, at least 4 - 6 hours.