Figs and plums are in season at the moment, and while they are delicious on their own, or sliced with granola for your breakfast, they also make superb ingredients for late summer dishes, sauces, chutneys and drinks.

Sweet fruits are excellent accompaniments with meat, game or cheese, and often cooking on grilling fruit help to release those sugars to get the maximum flavour.

Think of figs with salty cheese, such as halloumi or a blue cheese such as Blue Clouds.  You can put a simple halloumi and fig kebab together, halving the figs, dicing the halloumi, alternating on a skewer witha dusting of olive oil. Then grill for 4-5 minutes on each side.  Serve with a drizzle of balsamic glaze on it’s own, or as part of a larger salad.

Gordon Ramsey demonstrates a delicious fig and ricotta dish that is slow-cooked with caramel, rosemary and almonds, while Ottolenghi roasts his figs with pomegranate molasses, mascarpone and orange zest.

We have a history of baking with figs (figgy pudding), but this Meditteranean Fig and Almond Cake is a winner.

Ingredients:

  • 250g Almond Flour
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar, Plus 2 Tbsp
  • 4 Tbsp self-raising Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3 Eggs Lightly Beaten
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, Melted & Cooled
  • 1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
  • 8 Fresh Figs

Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 190 °C. and lightly grease a 9-inch fluted pan.
    2. In one bowl, toss together the almond flour, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.
    3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, and almond extract.
    4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and whisk just until mixed.
    5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
    6. Remove the stem from each fig, then cut in half.
    7. Arrange the figs cut side up over the batter, pushing the figs gently into the batter until level.
    8. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the figs, then bake for about 30 minutes or until the cake is set in the center
    9. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Plums

Plums work well with seasonal game and duck, and you can put together a simple plum sauce with your dish, or if you have a glut, make a batch.

Plum Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 15-20 small to medium plums, pitted and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 TBS grated fresh ginger
  • 125ml soy sauce
  • 2 TBS sweet chili sauce
Method:
  1. Slice plums in half and discard pits. Cut each half into about 6 chunks.
  2. Mix plums in a saucepan with garlic, onion, ginger, soy sauce, and chili sauce.
  3. Heat on medium for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Blend well with an immersion blender and add water to thin if desired.
  5. Store in the freezer up to six months or the fridge up to two weeks.

Plums are also delicious in pies and tarts, such as Tarte Tatin, or you can make plum jelly or plum cheese

Whichever way you choose, make sure to enjoy the seasonal bounty while it’s here.