As the weather cools off please allow me to offer one of the best things that the cold weather has to offer: a fruit crumble that is both easy to make and pleasing on the palate. The last of the figs are about and there are so many that they are now sold in containers making them much more affordable than early Summer figs that sell for $2 each.
I bought two boxes of figs that needed to be eaten or cooked straight away. Problem was that we were going out that evening And that's when this gorgeously buttery crumble came about. It really is the simplest of recipes. The ripe fruit is halved and forms a bed of glistening red on the base of a baking tin. The rest you simply crumble up with your hands then coat the fruit and bake.
I'm in love with figs and every year I come up with as many recipes as I possibly can given that most of them are eaten fresh. A Dear Reader actually reminded me of how she had grown up only knowing of figs as that ingredient in Spicy Fruit Rolls or Fig Newtons. I was the same. Figs were also an annoyance to me as the enormous Moreton Bay fig trees outside my high school rained inedible fruit that would get stuck underneath my school shoes.
I was a grown up when I tried my first fig. It was this creamy, sweet, jammy specimen and I fell head over heels in love. There can be dud figs plucked before their prime so that they are light and woody and lack the heady lusciousness of a good fig. But when you have a good one, you forget the bad ones. And please forgive me for my overuse of so many eroticised words for figs. I can't help myself...
The reminds me of a conversation that we had over dinner one night with our "brother" Nick. He was trying to caption a photo of food on Instagram using sexually charged prose because he is about as subtle as a hammer drill. He thought about the saucy chicken dish in front of him before shouting, "I'll describe it as volumptuous!" finger raised in the air.
We had to stop laughing to correct him on the spelling of voluptuous and his erroneous "m". "I think it sounds better with an m. Listen to it...VOLUMPTUOUS" he said slightly peeved at the correct but proud at his genius.
So tell me Dear Reader, are you a fig fan? How about the word volumptuous? Is there a fruit or food that you splurge on because you love it so much?
Luscious Fig & Macadamia Crumble
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 600g/21ozs. fresh figs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 100g/3.5ozs. brown sugar
- 90g/3ozs. butter, cubed
- 60g/2ozs. rye flour
- 60g/2ozs. plain all purpose flour
- 50g/1,7ozs. macadamias, roughly chopped
- 25g/1oz. desiccated coconut
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 185C/365F. Butter the base of a pie dish. Wash and halve the figs (quarter if they are very large). Place them on the base of the dish-these figs were very sweet and jammy so I didn't add any sweetening to them but if they aren't, you can drizzle over some maple syrup or add a few tablespoons of sugar. Place the sugar, butter and two flours into a bowl and crumble with your fingers until it resembles sand. Mix in the macadamias and coconut.
*Step 2 - *Sprinkle evenly over the figs and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Serve warm with cream or ice cream. This is best eaten on the day that you bake it because the macadamias will be crunchy when baked.