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Pumpkin Ale Caramelized Figs

In a world that is complicated, sometimes too complicated, this recipe is simple…really simple. It’s such a simple recipe that I have been struggling to write about it. I probably should have buckled down a month ago, when I created the recipe, but what to say…

I was going to write that part of being good at cooking is to know when to exercise restraint. I tend to always add more. but more of a good thing isn’t always better and I found that this recipe doesn’t need any meddling. But that sounds a bit too preachy.

I was going to write a history of figs: they have been found in a number of historical excavations and probably held symbolic meaning of fertility. As fascinating as history is to me, so much information seemed too much for such a simple recipe.

I could of written about my first fig. Watching my friend to see how she ate this exotic fruit. I’d heard about figs but had never tasted the sweet, slightly gritty fruit. That summer, after the first taste, I ate them often. Too short.

So instead, I’ll simply say that this is a very easy recipe. Things don’t have to be more complicated than they really are and, as such, this doesn’t really require a story. It’s figs, sugar, butter, beer, and goat cheese. And it’s delicious. I recommend serving them immediately, still warm, they are best that way. But on the off chance that you find yourself with a few left over, I assure you that they are delicious even when you grab them out of the refrigerator and stand over the sink late at night, indulging in those last few sweet, sticky bites.

Pumpkin Ale Caramelized Figs

8-12 fresh, ripe figs
1 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tbsp butter, divided
1/4 cup pumpkin ale
Chèvre (about 1 oz.), crumbled

Halve figs lengthwise. Pour 1 cup of brown sugar into a shallow bowl or dish. Press cut side of figs into sugar (doing so will start to pack the brown sugar, so you will need to rake or stir the sugar frequently to keep it loose). Repeat process twice with each fig. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, place figs, cut side down, in skillet. Let sit 2-3 minutes. Carefully turn each fig over and cook and additional 2-3 minutes. Remove figs from pan and set aside. Add remaining butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in beer and let mixture reduce slightly. Pour caramel beer sauce over figs. Crumble goat cheese over top and serve.

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