belinda jeffery's recipes
My recipes are easy. They’re for the food I like to eat. Simple, fresh, full of flavour and just a bit different. You certainly don't need any great cooking skills for them, you just need to like food and like eating – just like me. The rest is simple.
figs with raspberries & mascarpone 'zabaglione'
There is only ever a small window of opportunity each year to eat figs and this lovely, simple dessert really showcases them. The only thing to bear in mind is that the figs must be soft and perfectly ripe – I never mind if they have a few splits in them as this usually indicates they’re ready for eating.
The mascarpone ‘zabaglione’ isn’t a true zabaglione, but has the same light, delicate texture, and is utterly delicious. The only secret to it is to use good quality vanilla extract so the vanilla flavour really shines through.
Approx 200g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
A tablespoon or so of caster sugar, or more to taste
110g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
9 sweet, lusciously ripe figs
1-2 punnets fresh raspberries, to garnish
To serve: #thin crisp biscuits, optional
# Homemade biscuits would be great, but I must admit I’m never without a packet of either de Strooper butter crisps or almond thins in the pantry as they taste so good and are perfect with desserts like this.
For the raspberry sauce, put the raspberries and sugar into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Puree them together. Taste the mixture and add more sugar if necessary. Scrape the puree into a fine sieve set over a bowl and work the mixture through the sieve with the back of a spoon – it takes a bit of elbow grease to do this. Discard the pulp left in the sieve and cover and chill the puree.
For the ‘zabaglione’, put the eggs and sugar into a large stainless steel bowl. Using a hand-held electric beater, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium speed until they’re well mixed. Sit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and continue to beat the mixture for about 5 minutes, or until it’s warm and thick. (Be careful not to overheat it or the eggs will start to scramble.) Remove the bowl from the heat and keep on beating the mixture for about 6-8 minutes, or until it’s cool and very light and thick. Reduce the beater speed to low and mix in the mascarpone and vanilla until they're just combined and the ‘zabaglione’ is very light and creamy. (Be careful doing this as over-beating can make it grainy; if this happens, add a tablespoon or so of cream to the mixture to smooth it out.) You can use the ‘zabaglione’ straight away or scoop it into a container, cover it tightly, and store it in the fridge for a day or two.
When you’re ready to serve the figs, halve them lengthwise and sit three halves, cut-side up, on each plate. Trickle raspberry puree around and over the figs, then scatter the whole raspberries over the top. Scoop the zabaglione into a serving bowl and let everyone help themselves. Serve with thin crisp biscuits. Serves 6.
© Copyright Belinda Jeffery 2012. This recipe and photograph are protected by copyright laws and written permission from the author must be obtained to re-use them in any form of media.