There is something very romantic about figs. Perhaps it is their terribly voluptuous form – almost heart shaped or bottom shaped – with their soft, delicate skin. Perhaps it is their place in ancient history, or mythology if you prefer, when that prudish couple Adam and Eve first wore leaves from a fig tree for modesty. Perhaps figs are objects of desire to food lovers because their season is so short and sweet. Maybe it’s all of these things. But I do know that I love figs and I look forward to their seductive Summer season – even if it is brief. And the best thing about fig season is that it is at its height around Valentine’s Day. What a lovely gesture to present someone special with a gift of sweet figs – like a little bouquet of nature’s love hearts!
During the past few weeks I have enjoyed a generous number of figs in my daily diet. I admit that I do have a bad habit of over purchasing seasonal produce when it is at its most irresistible and figs are no exception. This week I had accumulated what can best be described as a glut of figs overflowing my fruit bowl and my fridge. This called for some kitchen magic. I went looking for some inspiration and with Valentine’s Day in mind I came up with this recipe for a Valentine Choc Fig Clafoutis. It’s a simple clafoutis batter, which I flavoured with milk chocolate for some added adultness. Into the top of the batter I softly pressed fig halves like a gentle embossing and once out of the oven I drizzled over a gilding of Frangelico liqueur. I hope you enjoy the recipe and Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you’re like me, with an oversupply of figs and lack of inspiration right now, here are a few of my other favourite ways to eat figs.
In a Salad – Start with a layer of rocket leaves and top with a sliced pear, crumbled blue cheese, a few gently torn figs and serve with a light dressing of balsamic and oil.
As a Quick Dessert – Cut some figs in half and press the cut sides into a saucer of brown sugar or coconut sugar. Add the halved figs, sugar side down, to a hot pan until the sugar is caramelised then serve these with butterscotch, vanilla or macadamia ice cream.
For Entrée or part of a Banquet – Cut a star shape into the top of each fig and stuff the space with a small piece of Meredith Dairy Marinated Goat Cheese and then wrap the figs in half a slice of prosciutto. Place the figs on a baking tray and pop under the grill until the cheese starts to slightly brown, the prosciutto gets crisp around the edges and the figs soften. Eat them as is or, for some extra indulgence, squeeze over some honey before serving.
- 1 cup Milk
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Plain Flour
- 1/2 cup Caster Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 125g Chocolate, melted
- 4 fresh Figs, sliced in half
- 2 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur
- Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar and butter until the sugar is dissolved and you can no longer feel the grains.
- Add the flour and whisk until combined.
- Fold in the melted chocolate.
- Pour the batter into a Pie Dish or a Skillet.
- Gently arrange the eight fig halves around the dish - cut side up.
- Bake the clafoutis for around 40 minutes. It will puff slightly.
- Remove the clafoutis from the oven and immediately pour over the Frangelico liqueur.
- Serve with ice cream or cream.
- Before placing the clafoutis in the oven you can shower the figs with a little brown sugar for added caramelisation - just watch that they don't burn!