This. Is. It. The thing I crave from Kenny and Zukes. I want this on my bagel. I want it on my crackers. I basically want it on everything, but on figs, it becomes an elegant fall appetizer that would be perfect with a dry, crisp white wine.  It’s maple walnut cream cheese spread with fresh figs. 

Figs are so exotic to me. I find them deep and mysterious like a dark pool of water in a forgotten garden. They have this other hidden side to them. When you cut open a fig, it’s like cracking open an egg. There’s a secret world that is gorgeous and detailed. Deep purple, like these mission figs, feels like a fall color to me. I can’t really wear purples, but eating these gets me in the mood for cool weather and cozy little gatherings.  

The seeds of figs are like a thousand tiny pins with the round heads on top, like the kind my mom used to use when she would sew. I love the contrast of color between the deep purple, the light green of the inside just below the peel, and the blush-colored seeds and fruit. I loved it so much I couldn’t resist making a color palette:

Link to FIG Color Palette.

Fig color palette
So let’s talk about this cream cheese madness. I am a sucker for a soft cream cheese dip or spread. This one is super decadent with the addition of mascarpone cheese and then I added a touch of tang with some farmer’s cheese. If you don’t know what farmer’s cheese is, you can check this out. I use Lifeway farmer’s cheese because it’s the only brand they had at my grocery store but it’s delicious. It’s like thick cottage cheese, non-fat, probiotic, and has a terrific tang. 

Everything gets put into the food processor and blended. I like some walnut pieces left larger and tossed in at the end, they are like little gold mines when you find one and get a large crunch!

maple walnut fig appetizer


Walnut Cream Cheese with Maple and Thyme
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Snack
Author: Sugarpickles
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 3 cups
This whips up in the food processor and you can blend the walnuts in completely or leave some in larger chuncks by pulsing them in at the end. If you can’t find farmer’s cheese, try greek yogurt or low fat cottage cheese.
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 5 ounces farmer’s cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • Drizzle of maple syrup (about two teaspoons)
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  1. Let the cheeses come to room temperature. Add them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse them together a few times and then blend for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the maple syrup and blend for 10 seconds.
  3. Add the walnuts (reserve a 1/4 cup for adding in at the end or add them all now if you want a creamier consistency) and pulse 5-6 times until they are blended and chopped. Remove the thyme leaves from the stems by holding one end and pulling them off with your other hand, they should slide off as you move your fingers down the stem. Add the leaves to the cheese mixture and pulse 3-4 times until incorporated.
  4. Add in the remaining walnuts, if using, and pulse a few more times until they are roughly chopped and incorporated into the mixture.