Sometimes, we need very few words to explain. This may be one of those times.
Fig. Honey. Caramel.
I made the fig-raspberry tartlets again, with a few tweaks and in longform. While the tart was baking, I had fig and cardamon poaching liquid sitting in the pan, and a jar of blackbutt honey on the bench. The two came together, simmered, boiled, turned a deeper golden caramel, and fig-honey-caramel was born.
It was the essence of figs and honey. Drizzle the caramel on the sesame-almond tart pastry, drip it onto the tart filling. Watch the caramel form a Jackson Pollock-esque pattern on bits of pastry, before running into sticky, semi translucent pools on nestling fig.
Place the tart under the grill for a minute or so, until the caramel bubbles up. Drop a few sprigs of rosemary on top, so its woody savoury smell mingles with the honey overnight.
My slight obsession with figs continues.
Last week, I found myself wondering about the combination of sesame, almond and fig flavours. A search for recipes with these ingredients soon turned into a Alice down the rabbit hole style whirlwind trip.
It began with a Turkish snack of figs filled with sesame and almonds, then, a festive pan de higo made up of compressed, brandied figs, sesames and almonds, and a “cake” that saw honey, sesame, figs and almond scented with anise and rosemary and pressed into a dense, nutty-sweet terrine. I looked at their descriptions and wanted thin slices with blue cheese and jamon.
Then, the recipes became more exuberant. A Tunisian phyllo filled with sesame and almond and drenched in honey, a fried sesame-almond biscuit doused in more honey syrup, seseame and almond caramel apples, pear and black sesame cake, an almond pastry tart with black sesame brittle, paleo friendly crackers (of course). Sesame and almond also turned up in an asparague and cranberry tart, on grilled vegetables and in a cleansing brown rice ball.
I thought about making some or all of these.
Then, I poached dried figs and somehow we had fig-honey-caramel instead. Spread over sesame-almond pastry, the resulting tart didn’t need any explanation.
PS, the caramel has also been folded through ice cream for an instant fig-honey-caramel ice cream. I also think it would be great with yoghurt, dark chocolate sorbet, a caramel of few words.
For the basic elements of the first raspberry-fig tart, please see the earlier recipe here.
I don’t have a recipe for the fig-honey caramel yet. It was an improvisation, an accidental discovery. But be assured I will want to make this again, and measure the measurements, and time the times. In the meantime, poach some figs, stir some honey, and make some sticky-runny caramel of your own. Go on, you know you want to.