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Fresh fig custard, by Rosemary Barron

09 September 2010 by

This recipe for fresh fig custard is taken from the book," target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Flavours of Greece, by Rosemary Barron.

(Serves 6)

• 175g caster sugar
• 450g figs, preferably purple, peeled, and cut into 4 or 6 wedges
• 115g unsalted butter
• 3tbsp plain flour
• 175ml milk
• 1 x 5cm piece of vanilla bean or 1tsp vanilla extract
• 4 large eggs, separated
• 1 egg white, optional
For serving • sifted icing sugar


Heat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Combine 115g of the sugar and 4tbsp water in a syrup pan or a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. Raise the heat and boil rapidly for 3-4 minutes, or until the syrup lightly coats the back of a metal spoon.

Add the figs, gently shake the saucepan to coat the figs and reduce the heat to very low. Simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until the figs darken a little. Set aside.

Melt half the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer, or until the roux turns a medium gold.

Meanwhile combine the milk, 1tbsp of the remaining sugar and the vanilla in another saucepan and heat to just under a boil. Whisk the milk into the roux and cook, whisking constantly, until the custard reaches a low boil. Reduce the heat, simmer a few minutes longer and remove from the heat.

Brush a 1.1 litre soufflé dish with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Invert over the sink and tap sharply to remove excess sugar.

Remove the vanilla bean from the custard and stir in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the figs and their syrup, just to combine. With a hand whisk or an electric mixer, whisk the eggs whites until they hold stiff peaks, Stir one third of the whites into the fig custard, then lightly fold in the remaining whites and transfer to the soufflé dish.

Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/gas mark 5 and bake for 30 minutes. Gently shake the dish - it should wobble only slightly, Bake another 5-10 minutes if necessary.

Dust the custard with the icing sugar and serve immediately. Or let it cool, dust with the sugar and serve at room temperature.

To make individual custards: butter small (225ml) soufflé or other oven-proof dishes, sprinkle with sugar and divide the custard equally between them. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180°C/gas mark 4.

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