I'm not a huge carb lover or bread eater. It's not that I don't love it, I do but it doesn't always agree with me. My face always ends up looking a bit puffy and pale the next day and for someone as vain as me, that can be a dealbreaker. I could possibly even be slightly gluten intolerant but a part of me doesn't really want to confirm that diagnosis in case it means that I have to give up my beloved pastry. Ignorance is bliss...sort of.
My favourite breads are a fresh naan or Turkish bread. I have learned recently that Pide bread which is what we called Turkish bread is not what the Turkish call their regular bread. Pide is trotted out once a year for Ramadan for one month whereas a traditional Turkish bread is more like a Vienna bread. I however am glad that we seem to have embraced pide wholeheartedly and I can imagine that if I did live in Turkey, it would necessitate buying a huge freezer and stashing away a year's supply of pide in it.
With my lesson in pide learnt, I picked some up in a Turkish supermarket along with a jar of fig jam. This fig jam is different from the usual kind that we get in the supermarket where the figs come in a pureed form. This one is filled with unripened small green figs suspended in a viscous green syrup. It is entirely different from the other fig jam or any other jam come to think of it. But it is good and reminds me of candied fruit. Of course if you can't find it you could always use another fig jam-Bonne Mamam do a very nice one.
When I saw this jam, I recalled Johanna's Turkish Fig Pudding that I had wanted to make and realised that I had in my hot little hands, the two main ingredients to make it. It was dead easy, all it involved was a bit of sawing of the bread and whisking of ingredients. In fact the hardest thing was letting the Turkish bread go slightly stale and refrain from gobbling the whole lot.
Oh and did I mention the flavour and texture? Goodness, it was heavenly. The figs, the rosewater and the custard are divine together but the bread had the most divine light butter soaked caramelised crunch at the top and the bottom was eggy but never soggy. It speaks to the sweet, buttery pastry lover in me. And perhaps in you too!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have any food allergies or intolerances?
Turkish fig pudding
Adapted from Three ways with...stale bread, and 99 other ingredients you'll find in your pantry, fridge or freezer by Ross Dobson
half a large oval of stale-ish Turkish bread
40grams/1.4ozs softened butter
4 tablespoons fig jam (I used the fig jam with whole unripe figs in it from a Turkish store but you could use regular fig jam)
1 cup pouring cream
1 cup milk
¾ teaspoon rosewater
? cup caster sugar
Icing sugar to dust and cream to serve
Step 1 - Grease a medium oven proof dish.
My beloved Westgold NZ butter stash
Step 2 - Slice the Turkish bread in half to make two thinner pieces. Combine butter and jam (if you need to melt the butter a bit that is fine) and then spread over pieces of bread and place in prepared dish.
Step 3 - Combine cream and milk and add sugar and rosewater. Lightly whisk in eggs and pour the mixture over the bread. Press the bread pieces down so that they get dunked into the cream. Leave to absorb for 10 minutes or so while the oven is preheating. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Press down on the bread pieces to soak them in the cream
Step 4 - Bake for 30 minutes or until it is crisp on top and the custard is set. Serve with extra cream.