Two ways with figs.
STICKY FIG AND ORANGE MUFFINS
These muffins are delicious, especially if you eat them when they are still warm. They are great with breakfast if you are having friends or family over or a lovely treat with your afternoon cup of tea. They are delightfully easy to make and would be a nice addition to Christmas day brunch. The smell of the muffins alone is the most inviting welcome into any home.
Ingredients (makes 8):
175g butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
175g self-raising flour
1 orange, zest and juice
200g ripe figs, with stalks removed and diced, plus 1 whole fig for decoration
2 tbsp clear honey
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a muffin tin with cases. I have used tulip wrap muffin cases for this.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs a little at a time together with a spoonful of flour. Once all the eggs have been added, fold in the remaining flour along with the orange zest.
- Then add in the diced figs to the muffin mixture and mix through.
- Split the mixture between the cases. Cut the remaining fig into thin slices and place a slice on top of each muffin. Be careful not to cut the slices too thick or else they will just sink to the bottom of the muffin while baking and you will lose the fig’s decorative effect.
- Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the muffins are golden and a skewer comes out clean.
- While the muffins are baking, heat the orange juice and honey together in a saucepan. Once the muffins are out of the oven, spoon over the warm orange syrup.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool or simply dig in, if you can’t wait any longer!
BOOZY BAKED FIGS WITH CUSTARD
This is a great Autumn/Winter desert. It came together was I was having a late night sugar craving. I looked in the fridge and luckily found 2 figs and some cream. Job done! However, you can easily make this with leftover ingredients from the muffins.
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
4 ripe figs
1/2 tsp butter
1 tbsp clear honey
1/2 orange, grated zest and 1 – 2 tbsp of juice
1 – 2 tbsp Cointreau
6 large egg yolks
1 vanilla pod
570ml single cream or whole milk
1 dessert spoon cornflour
50g golden caster sugar
For the figs:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Cut the figs in half and place in oven-proof ramekins. I prefer using a ramekin instead of a baking tray as the ramekin dish catches the excess juices and mixes wonderfully with the custard for extra flavour. I also like to slightly angle the figs so that the top of the stalks are sticking up. This way the bright red carmelised flesh of the fig will pop out through the creamy pale yellow vanilla custard which will make anyone who eats it want to dive right in. Be careful not to stand them completely upright or else the honey and orange glaze will just run off and wont soak into the fruit.
- Dot each of the figs with a tiny bit of butter.
- Mix the orange juice, honey and cointreau and drizzle over the of figs in the ramekins. If you want them a bit boozier, add 2 tbsp of cointreau and 1 tbsp of orange juice or if you don’t want a kick of booze then add 1 tbsp of cointreau and 2 tbsp of orange juice or just 3 tbsp of orange juice. Then sprinkle the figs with a little orange zest.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until soft and sticky. Keep an eye on them though as the figs may need less time depending on the size. Be careful as the ramekins will be very hot.
For the custard:
- Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds.
- Put the cream in a small saucepan and add the vanilla pod and seeds. Heat over a low heat until just below simmering point.
- While the cream is heating, whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a separate bowl.
- Remove the vanilla pod from the hot cream.
- Then add the cream to the yolk mixture. To do this, continue whisking the yolk mixture with one hand and while whisking, gradually pour the hot cream into the bowl.
- Once all of the cream has been added, immediately return the mixture to the saucepan. Heat over a low heat, whisking continually until the custard is thick and smooth.
- Place the ramekins on a plate as they will be too hot for anyone to handle.
- Pour the custard into the ramekin dishes leaving a little bit of the figs peaking out. The custard will mix with the beautiful deep pink juices from the figs and the warm orange liqueur. Delicious!