Roast Figs with Pecan Brittle Ice Cream

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At Arbutus this is how we serve our roast figs, but if you haven’t got the time to make pecan nut brittle ice cream, a good bought vanilla ice cream would be almost as good.

Ingredients

  • 18 black figs (preferably Provençal)
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g sugar
  • 100 ml Amaretto
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and the seeds scraped out

For the Pecan Brittle Ice Cream

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • A good large handful of shelled pecan nuts, lightly crushed with a rolling pin
  • 1 recipe quantity Custard

Method

Well ahead, make the ice cream: put the sugar in a dry heavy-based pan and heat until it caramelizes. Don’t be afraid to let it get to be a good deep colour. Using a wooden spoon, mix in half the pecans. Let cool slightly and then mix in the custard followed by the remaining pecans. Mix well and leave to cool completely. When cool, churn in an ice-cream machine until frozen and then put in the freezer for at least 2–3 hours.

To roast the figs, preheat the oven to 150°C/gas 2. Split 2 of the figs in half, scrape out the pulp and chop the skin as finely as possible. Set aside.

Make a beurre noisette: melt the butter in a shallow pan over a gentle heat until it starts to foam and the solids separate and turn golden brown in colour. (Ideally use a stainless-steel pan so you can see the solids colour.) Take off the heat, add the sugar and allow it to dissolve. Add the split figs and the chopped pulp, the amaretto, the vanilla with its seeds and 100 ml. water.

Take a sauté pan large enough to hold the remaining figs. Arrange them overlapping in a criss-cross pattern in the pan, pour the butter mixture over them and gently bake in the preheated oven for 10–15 minutes or until soft to the touch, occasionally basting the fruit with their juices.

When soft, take out of the oven and allow to cool. The figs will release some of their juice and turn the syrup a beautiful deep plum colour. While they cool, transfer the ice cream to the refrigerator to soften.

Serve the figs lukewarm with the syrup and a scoop of the ice cream.

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