One of my childhood foodie dreams was to eat sweet fresh figs. As strange as that may sound, access to fresh figs has been limited by price alone. And that's not to mention that, even when you do get your hands on some reasonably priced figs, they taste like rubbish. It was not until I visited Japan in their summer of 2011 that I was able to enjoy for the first time, the soft and succulent flesh of a sweet fresh fig. It was morning tea I will never forget.
To compensate for the lack of fresh figs in my life, my mother would buy me dried figs from the supermarket. Despite not being as jaw-dropping amazing as their fresh counterparts, they are absolutely incredible slathered in peanut butter. I used to think that was all that could be done with them (apart from eating them straight out of the packet) until I came across this recipe for froyo with poached figs. Clearly poached figs was simply something I just hadn't heard of before, but I was surprised to learn that it's done using whole dried figs; The whole idea of continuing to blog was to help me learn so I guess it's doing its job!
The original recipe calls for almonds and pistachios to be used as a garnish but I didn't have either so I pan-fried some pumpkin seeds instead - it worked out great! And for those of you who are curious: yes, this recipe tastes even better than half-price froyo on Tuesday nights ;)
Yoghurt ice cream with poached dried figs (adapted from a magazine cutout, the source of which I can't locate)
1kg good quality plain yoghurt
8 Tbsp caster sugar
For the syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cardamon pod
12 Iranian dired figs/apricots/peaches
4 Tbsp slivered almonds
4 Tbsp pistachios
1 Tbsp caster sugar
Making the 'ice cream': Place the yoghurt and sugar in a bowl and whisk together. Either place this in an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions, or place in a container in the freezer until the yoghurt is half frozen. If you opt for the latter, whisk the mixture again (or pulse briefly in a food processor) to break up any lumps and then put it back in the freezer until firm.
Making the syrup: Place the water, sugar and cardamon in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add your dried fruit of choice, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the dried fruit from the syrup with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Return the syrup to the heat and cook until the syrup thickens, then remove from the heat.
Serving: Mix the nuts/seeds and 1 Tbsp sugar together until well combined. Spoon the ice cream into bowls, add the fruit, and drizzle the syrup over the top. Sprinkle the ice cream with the nut mixture. Eat.