The Fig Clafoutis Ottolenghi is a fantastic summer dessert that’s great for entertaining. Not only does it offer a wonderful combination of flavours from the figs, pistachios, raspberries and pastry, but it’s also really easy to make, which is always a bonus for me.
Clafoutis is a thick open-faced French dessert that is delicious, especially with fresh figs in season. I will show you how to make it using a different ingredient — and it’s even simpler.
Easy Ottolenghi: two pudding recipes for autumn
Fig and thyme clafoutis
Make sure you use really ripe figs for this. You may be surprised by the size of each portion, but the sponge is so light and fluffy that it’s very easy to eat a lot of it. I like to serve this with vanilla ice-cream or cream. Serves four, generously.
110g caster sugar
2 tbsp red wine
1 tbsp picked thyme leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice, plus 2 tsp finely grated zest
12 ripe black figs, tough stems removed and halved lengthways
2 eggs, separated
50g plain flour
1½ tsp vanilla essence
100ml double cream
Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Spoon 60g sugar into a small, oven-proof, high-sided saute pan with an 18cm base (if you don’t have one, cook the figs in a regular frying pan and transfer to a square 22cm baking dish when its’s time to move them to the oven), then put the pan on a medium-high heat for four to five minutes, swirling the pan a few times, until the sugar has melted and turned a dark, caramel colour. Add the wine and thyme – be careful, because it might spit – and stir until combined and thick. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and figs, and set aside to cool. (If you are transferring the figs to a baking dish, do so now.)
Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl with 25g sugar. Whisk until pale and thick – two to three minutes by hand, one minute with an electric whisk – then add the flour, vanilla, cream, lemon zest and a pinch of salt, and whisk until smooth and thick.
In another medium bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 25g sugar (again, two to three minutes by hand, a minute with an electric whisk), until they form stiff peaks. Fold gently into the yolk batter, then pour over the figs in the saute pan (or baking dish). Bake for about 30 minutes, until the batter has risen, turned golden brown and is cooked through. Remove from the oven, divide between four bowls and serve hot.
Coconut puddings with peanuts and lime
I use 9cm-wide ramekins for these, but any bowl or glass with similar dimensions will do. They set quickly – within about an hour – so you don’t need to start way ahead of time, though they do keep in the fridge for up to three days. Serves six.
800ml coconut milk (ie, 2 tins)
50g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways and seeds scraped out
Shaved zest of 2 limes, plus 20ml lime juice
Flaked sea salt
6.5g sachet vege-gel (a vegetarian setting agent that’s widely available in the baking section of supermarkets – Dr Oetker is just one brand to look out for)
30g dark muscovado sugar
½ ripe mango, peeled and sliced into thin, 2mm x 5cm-long strips
2 tbsp salted and roasted peanuts, finely chopped
Put the coconut milk in a medium saucepan with the sugar, vanilla pod and seeds, lime zest and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt. Gently warm for 10 minutes, until the milk is steaming and aromatic and the sugar has dissolved, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
Strain the milk through a fine sieve, squeezing as much liquid from the aromatics as possible. Return the milk to the pan and put on a medium heat. Add the vege-gel and cook for three minutes, whisking continuously, until the vege-gel has dissolved and the milk has thickened slightly. Take off the heat and stir in a tablespoon of lime juice, then divide between six ramekins (or bowls or glasses of a similar size and capacity) and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Put the muscovado sugar in a small saucepan with two tablespoons of water, bring to a boil, then leave to bubble for 30-60 seconds, until the sugar has melted and the syrup has thickened. Take off the heat, stir in the remaining teaspoon of lime juice and leave to cool – you should end up with two tablespoons of pourable syrup.
To serve, top each pudding with a slice or two of mango, drizzle on a teaspoon of syrup and finish by scattering over a teaspoon of peanuts.
Black Mission Fig Clafoutis
Matthew Accarrino cleverly adds juicy fresh figs to this delicious pancake-like French dessert, then tops it with port-infused whipped cream.
- ½ cup ruby or tawny port
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 piece orange zest (3-by–inch)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup half-and-half
- ½ cup granulated sugar (plus more for the pan)
- 2 eggs (large)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon orange zest (finely grated)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Melted butter (for the pan)
- ¾ pound fresh Black Mission figs (halved lengthwise)
- Confectioners’ sugar (for dusting)
Make the Port Cream
- Step 1In a small saucepan, combine the port with the sugar and orange zest strip and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and let cool. Discard the orange zest and refrigerate until chilled.
- Step 2In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Drizzle in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the port syrup and whip the cream until firm. Refrigerate the whipped cream and remaining syrup separately.
Make the Clafoutis
- Step 1In a blender, combine the half-and-half with the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and the eggs, vanilla, orange zest and salt. Add the flour in 3 batches, pulsing for 10 seconds between additions. Let the clafoutis batter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Step 2Preheat the oven to 425. Brush a 9-inch baking dish or cast-iron skillet with melted butter and dust with granulated sugar. Pulse the batter once more and pour it in the dish. Set the figs, halved sides up, in the dish.
- Step 3Bake the clafoutis for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375. Bake for 20 to 25 more minutes, until the top is lightly golden and the custard is just set. Let the clafoutis cool for 5 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm, passing the port cream and the remaining port syrup at the table.
The port syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
For a wine match, Shelley Lindgren looks to Madeira, which often has dried-fruit notes. She opts for the 10-Year Broadbent Madeira; Justino’s 3-Year Fine Rich Madeira would also be delicious.
Plum, Blackberry and Bay Friand Bake
This easy friand bake, from Yotam Ottolenghi’s SIMPLE cookbook, makes a brilliant alternative to a crumble and is incredibly straightforward to make.
Friands are the light, moist almond cakes popular in Australia, New Zealand and France. Whisked egg whites and very little flour make them wonderfully light, and the ground almonds make them really moist. Traditionally they’re small cakes, but here I tip the batter into a baking dish and cook it whole.
You can make the batter well in advance here, if you want to get ahead – it keeps well in the fridge up to a day ahead – but don’t macerate the fruit for this amount of time as it will become too juicy.
Serve with custard, vanilla icecream or cream. The fruit can be played around with, depending on the season. Raspberries and peaches can be used in the early summer months, for example.
|4||ripe plums, stones removed, cut into 1cm wide wedges (360g)|
|1 tsp||vanilla extract|
|3||fresh bay leaves|
|1 tsp||ground cinnamon|
|200g||icing sugar, sifted|
|150g||egg whites (from 4–5 large eggs)|
|180g||unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled|
You will need a 20 x 30cm baking dish.
Place the blackberries and plums in a bowl with the vanilla extract, sugar, bay leaves and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Set aside for 30 minutes. Don’t be tempted to leave them sitting around for longer than this, as the fruit will become too juicy.
Preheat the oven to 190°C fan.
Mix the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds, the remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt in a separate large bowl. Set aside.
Lightly whisk the egg whites by hand for 30 seconds, so they just start to froth. Stir into the flour mixture, along with the melted butter, until combined.
Tip the batter into a 20 x 30cm parchment-lined baking dish and top evenly with the fruit and juices. Bake for 40 minutes, covering the dish with foil for the final 10 minutes, until the batter is golden-brown and the fruit is bubbling. Set aside for 10 minutes before serving.