Fruit and Cheese Platter
A full-blown tray of delectable goods, perfect for entertaining or family get-togethers.
Creamy goat cheese, such as Fleur Verte
Bunch of grapes
Fig Preserves, recipe follows
English Oat Crackers, recipe followsFig Preserves
2 tsp grated orange zest (2 oranges)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 ¾ cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 lb(s) fresh ripe purple figs, stems removed and halved lengthwiseEnglish Oat Crackers
3 cups old-fashioned oats, such as Quaker
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp kosher salt
½ lb(s) (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, 1/2-inch diced
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ cup lukewarm water
Fleur de sel
1. Line a wooden board or flat dish with fig leaves and artfully arrange the goat cheese, grapes, preserves and crackers on top.Fig Preserves
1. Place the orange zest and orange juice in a medium (10-inch) heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Add the sugar, vanilla bean, and figs to the pot. Cover and bring to a full boil over medium heat. (Don't worry; it may look dry.) Stir the mixture and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat, and cook uncovered at a full simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the little bubbles to be throughout the pot, not just at the edges. After 45 minutes, refrigerate a small amount of the liquid to see if it becomes syrupy. It should be like a soft fruit preserve. Keep cooking just until the liquid starts to gel when cold. If the liquid is too firm, add a little orange juice or water, cook for a minute, and test it again until it's right. Depending on how ripe the figs are, they will probably keep their shape, but it's fine if they don't. Discard the vanilla bean and serve or refrigerate.English Oat Crackers
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. Place the oats, flour, brown sugar, and kosher salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse for 45 to 60 seconds, until the oats are coarsely ground. Add the butter and pulse 15 to 20 times, until the butter is the size of peas.
3. Dissolve the baking soda in the lukewarm water and drizzle it over the crumbs in the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is evenly moistened and can be pressed into balls that will hold together.
4. With a medium (1 3/4-inch) ice cream scoop or two spoons, scoop the dough into your hands and roll them into round balls. Evenly space 12 balls on the prepared sheet pans. Flour the bottom of a flat-bottomed 3-inch-diameter drinking glass and use it to flatten each cracker to 1/8 inch thick and about 3 inches in diameter. The crackers will not be perfectly round. If there is a lot of flour on the crackers, turn them over with a metal spatula. Sprinkle with the fleur de sel and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown on the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature.
"Cooking for Jeffrey" by Ina Garten © Clarkson Potter 2016. Provided courtesy of Ina Garten. All rights reserved.