An exotic-sounding but absolutely delicious dessert. Fernet is an herby liqueur imported from Italy. If you can't find it, substitute pastis or ouzo.
1 cup water
1 cup honey
1/4 cup Fernet Branca or anisette liqueur
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
24 fresh figs, quartered
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of salt
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
How to Make It
To prepare figs, combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Place figs in a shallow dish; add hot syrup to dish. Cool fig mixture to room temperature; cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 325°.
To prepare granola, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; stir in sugar, and increase heat to medium-high. Cook 2 minutes or until sugar browns lightly. Add oats, nuts, pepper, and dash of salt; stir to coat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Arrange oat mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325° for 16 minutes or until toasted, stirring after 8 minutes. Cool completely.
Remove figs from liquid using a slotted spoon; discard liquid. Divide fig quarters evenly among 8 bowls; top each serving with 1/2 cup granola. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons mascarpone on each serving.
Absinthe Brasserie & Bar and Arlequin Café, San Francisco