Prosciutto Cups with Ricotta & Balsamic Figs

From here on out you will only want to eat things out of little meat cups.

Fall is awesome. It’s not too cold, not too hot, you have an excuse to start making heartier meals, and watching football all day totally counts as an activity. It’s the total package, just like these little babies. Prosciutto cups always seemed difficult to us until we actually tried them (hint: it’s easy). The salty richness of the pig is balanced nicely by the freshness of the ricotta, and the whole thing is lifted by the sweet and slightly acidic balsamic glazed figs. Better stocked grocery stores will have fresh figs into early November so get on it and up your appetizer/snack game forever.

Equipment Needed: Muffin Tin, Small Cup or Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Frying Pan, Spatula, Spoon

Ingredients:

  • 12 slices prosciutto ($14.99/lb)
  • 6 fresh black mission figs ($4.99/pt)
  • 1/3 C balsamic vinegar ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 1 TBSP maple sugar (you can substitute brown sugar if you can’t find maple sugar; we got ours at Kalustyan’s)($3.99/3 oz)
  • Roughly 2 C fresh ricotta ($5.99/lb)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary ($1.49/sprig)
  • 1/4 C honey ($4.39/12 oz)

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Pull the rosemary leaves off the sprigs and mince them up. Sprinkle some salt over the minced leaves and scrape them against the cutting board as you would if you were making a garlic paste.

Crush up the rosemary a bit to make it infuse better with the honey.

  • Dump the rosemary into a small cup or container and pour the honey over it. Let that sit on the back of the stove to draw ambient heat and meld flavors while you cook everything else.
  • To make the cups, take each slice of prosciutto and line each muffin compartment in the tin making sure that the bottom is completely covered. The end result should look like a cupcake wrapper. The prosciutto will inevitably split several times when you first attempt this. Resist the urge to put your fist through a wall and just be gentle and patient when handling each piece. Pop these in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until they’re crisp.

The first few will frustrate the hell out of you and fall apart. The last few you will be able to do blindfolded.

  • While the cups are cooking place your frying pan over medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and maple sugar and stir everything together. Let the vinegar reduce for about 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  • Keeping an eye on your vinegar while it reduces, remove the stems from the figs and slice them in half lengthwise. Once the sauce has thickened a bit place the figs in the pan, sliced side down. Let them sit and cook for 5 minutes; resist the urge to move them so they caramelize a bit.

The reduced balsamic will nicely balance the sweetness of the figs.

  • Pull your prosciutto out of the oven when it’s crispy and set them aside to cool.
  • Flip your fruit and cook for another 5 minutes to soften them through. Turn the heat off, pluck the figs out of the vinegar and set them aside to cool slightly.
  • Carefully pull your prosciutto cups out of the tin and fill each one with a spoonful of ricotta. Place a fig on top of the cheese, sliced side up. Drizzle a little balsamic from the pan over top if you wish and then drizzle some of your rosemary honey over the whole lot for a sweet and earthy accent.

And rosemary honey because we said so.

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