Amuse-gueule (amuse-bouche) is a small, one or two-bite creation intended to stimulate one’s taste buds prior to a meal. Here, I’ve prepared slices of seared duck breast served on garlic croûtons, topped with duck liver mousse and alternately garnished with blackberry chutney & chives, slivered ginger & red onion and fig jam & tarragon. A bit of herb salad tossed with olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar on the side..
Turkish figs, brandy, vanilla bean, fresh lemon and wildflower honey..
Fig Jam with Vanilla and Brandy
Makes 1 Pint
1 pound figs, stemmed and quartered (mission figs will produce a darker colored jam than Turkish figs)
4 oz brandy
1/4 cup raw wildflower honey
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Combine all ingredients except honey in a stainless steel pot. Allow to macerate on the counter for 1 hour, then slowly bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Partially cover and boil gently, stirring often until figs are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add honey and a pinch of salt and mash all together with a flat-bottomed potato masher. Taste and adjust flavor with lemon and/or honey if you think it needs it (I prefer mine slightly more tart than sweet).
Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
To keep for up to 1 year, transfer jam to a glass jar leaving at least 1/2 inch headroom, then seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.