Fig and Balsamic Syrup Mille Feuille
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed, if frozen (1/2 (17 1/4-ounce) package)
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 large egg white, beaten
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup Ruby Port wine
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise in 1/2, seeds scraped
- 2 cups black Mission figs, stems removed and cut in 1/2 vertically
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
Cover the puff pastry with a slightly damp kitchen cloth and bring to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cutter dipped in flour, press out into 8 portions. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the pastry with the egg white. Combine 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the pastry. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and top with a second baking sheet.
Bake until lightly browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Combine the vinegar, Port, 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and the vanilla bean and seeds into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture is thick and syrupy, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the figs, turning to coat evenly, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Discard the vanilla bean pods.
Beat the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and the vanilla extract, and beat until stiff peaks form.
To assemble, place a small dollop of whipped cream in the center of each of 4 plates. Top with 1 pastry round and a dollop of whipped cream. Divide the figs evenly among the rounds, reserving 4 halves for garnish. Top with the remaining pastry rounds and whipped cream, and garnish with the fig halves. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, originally appearing in From Emeril's Kitchens, William Morrow Publishers, New York, 2003