In the New York Times Cook Book (Revised Edition) first published in 1961 you will find a collection of recipes that span generations. This is a recipe for Gingered Figs, originally from that book and also revised to span more generations in my family. I will be honest with you. I am not a huge fan of figs, figgy pudding, or any other fig combinations, but my relatives love them and so this is from them to other fig lovers.
1 lb. fresh or dried figs
2 lemons or oranges (liqueur can substitute for fruit if desired, in which case, flavor to taste)
1 lg. piece of fresh ginger
1/2 cup of honey
1 cup sugar
In a saucepan add figs and cover them with cold water. Add 2 tbs. of citrus juice, 1 tbs. of thin citrus rind, ginger and 1/2 cup of honey to the mixture and bring to a boil for about 20 or 30 minutes.
Remove the figs and ginger from the saucepan with a strainer ladle, reserving the liquid in the saucepan. Add the cup of sugar to the leftover liquid and stir until syrupy adding 1 tbs. of citrus juice and 4 slices of the chosen fruit. Finally, pour the syrup over the figs, chill and serve with whipped cream.
The New York Times Cook Book also contains recipes for Ricotta Pie, Orange Custard Pie, and Sour Cream Fudge Cake. My friend recently made Sour Cream Fudge Brownies and they were fabulous with swirls of sour cream mixed with fudge, and chocolate chips. She (who wishes to remain anonymous) recommended this recipe from howstuffworks.com. Since she is the designated online recipe scout, I will take her word for it. If you try it and would like to comment on it, I will pass the message along directly. I was looking this recipe over and noticed another recipe for orange cappuccino brownies at the bottom of the page. Those flavors sound scrumptious together and might be worth looking into.
I enjoy the fact that the world of desserts is getting bigger. What I mean is that old traditional recipes are being expanded upon while new desserts are created daily in accordance with improving nutritional health.
The most popular / common recipes can be found in the book as well, but it sure is nice to come across a recipe collection of such wide variety. It’s sort of like Dorothy leaving Kansas for awhile, but of course it’s nice coming back and having a hunk of Triple Chocolate cake to keep one’s feet on the ground.
As for sugar free desserts, my two diabetic friends inform me that with the invention of Truvia and Stevia, sweets without sugar cane are not only palatable but quite pleasant.
I wonder what someone like Guillaume Tirel, one of the world’s first master chefs would say if he were alive today. What has changed so much, has been invented, or simply rediscovered? How much more will there be? What would we say if we could see the world of desserts two hundred years from now? Imagination is the seed of creation, so let us keep imagining!