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Figs and goat cheese pizza  Print Recipe

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time:15 minutes

For the dough:
2.5g (¾ tsp) active dried yeast
125g (4½oz) plain flour, plus more for dusting
125g (4½oz) bread flour
1 tsp olive oil

For the topping:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion, halved and very finely sliced
4-5 medium figs, halved
2 cups peeled choppe dtomatoes
1/2 cup black olives pitted
125g (4½oz) goat’s cheese, broken into chunks
a little extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling First make the dough. Have 175ml (6fl oz) lukewarm water ready. Put the yeast into a couple of tablespoons of the warm water in a small bowl and add a tablespoon of the flour. Stir together, then leave somewhere warm to “sponge” for 20 minutes or so
Put both types of flour into a large mixing-bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour on the sponged yeast, ¼ tsp salt, the oil and remaining water and gradually mix all the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to form a dough (it will be quite wet). Knead for 10 minutes until satiny and elastic, then put in a clean bowl, cover with a cloth and leave somewhere warm for 2½ hours. It should double in size. (If you are using bought fresh dough put it somewhere warm for 30 minutes before using.)

Boil the sliced onions until tender. Drain
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Fry over a medium heat for about ten minutes until golden. Add tomatoes and continue cooking until moisture is all evaporated. Season with salt and pepper Set aside.
Half an hour before you want to cook the pizza, preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8 – it really needs to be as hot as you can get it. Place a baking-sheet or pizza stone into the oven to heat.
Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead it a little, then roll it into a circle or a rough square, depending on whether you are using a pizza stone or a baking-sheet. It should be about 30-32cm (11¾-12½in) across.
Carefully take the hot baking-sheet or stone out of the oven and flour it. Put the pizza dough on to it and, working quickly, top with the onions tomato mixture and the halved figs and olives, leaving a 3cm (1-inch) rim all the way around the pizza. Spoon a little balsamic vinegar on top of each fig half and sprinkle a bit of sugar on each as well. Dot the chunks of goat’s cheese among the figs. Drizzle the goat’s cheese with a little olive oil. Grind some pepper over the top. Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes. The pizza should be golden and the figs slightly caramelised in patches.
Serve immediately. A rocket, (arugala), spinach or watercress salad is good on the side.
Side Dishes
Dessert Dishes
Caramelized figs with fudge sauce

Christmas cake

Figs tart

Roasted pears and figs compote

Caramelized figs with fudge sauce  Print Recipe

Serves: 6

Preparation time:10 minutes

Cooking time:12 minutes

1 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter,
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp coarse salt
12 fesh figs, halved lengthwise)
Fudge sauce (recipe below)
Vanilla ice cream In a medium shallow bowl, stir together sugar and salt. Press the cut side of each fig into the sugar mixture to coat.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add butter to melt. Add sugar-covered figs, cut side down, and cook until sugar and juices caramelize, about 3-4 minutes. As figs caramelize, turn them over.
Remove from heat and add lemon juice, gently swirling to combine.
Transfer to a serving dish. Serve with the fudge sauce and vanilla ice cream.

For the fudge sauce:

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup light cream (half and half)
3/4 cup heavy cream
In a medium pot, combine the brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream. Bring to boil on high heat for 2 minutes.
Add the heavy cream. Bring to boil, simmer for 8 minutes. Keeps well refrigerated for a week.

Christmas cake  Print Recipe

Serves: 15

Preparation time:40 minutes

Cooking time:2 hours 20 minutes

6 oz (175 g) pitted prunes
6 oz (175 g) dried apricots
4 oz (125 g) dried pineapple
4 oz (125 g) dried black Mission figs,
hard stem ends removed
4 oz (125 g) dried cherries
4 oz (125 g) Thompson raisins
4 oz (125 g) golden raisins
3/4 cup (175 mL) port
1/2 cup (125 mL) dark rum
1/2 cup (125 mL) brandy
1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches (8 cm) long
2 tsp (10 mL) grated lemon rind
1½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1¼ tsp (6 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground cloves
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground allspice
1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups (375 mL) demerara sugar, packed
4 large eggs, at room temperature Cut prunes,apricots, pineapple and figs into small pieces (smaller than ½ inch/1 cm). Put in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot along with cherries, raisins, port, rum, brandy, bitters, honey and cinnamon stick. Place pot over medium-low heat and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until fruit mixture is plump and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in grated lemon rind. Scrape into a large glass or ceramic bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let stand for a few days, or ideally a week, stir ring every few days.
2 Preheat oven to 275°F (140°C). Grease 5mini loaf pans, 5 x 2 x 2 inches (13 x 5 x 5 cm) approx., and fully line with parchment paper.
3 Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and all-spice in a small bowl and stir with a fork until uniform.
4 Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating really well between additions and scraping down sides as needed to keep batter from separating. Add flour mixtureand beat until just combined (batter will be on the thin side). Scrape in dried fruit mixture and any syrupy liquid and stir until just combined.
Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 2 hours 20 minutes or until cakes are deeply golden and a cake tester comes out with crumbs clinging to it.
5 Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out ontowire racks, peel off parchment paper and let cool fully. Wrap cooled cakes well and keep in airtight containers until ready to eat or share. No aging necessary.

Figs tart  Print Recipe

Serves: 8

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time:25 minutes

1 pound puff pastry dough
2 pounds fresh figs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
8 4-inch round tart molds
Garnish with whipped cream
Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
Cut 8 5-inch pastry circles, and line molds with the circles. Prick dough with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cut the figs in 3/8 inch slices. Arrange the slices slightly overlapping on the pastry rounds so that they just reach the edge of the pastry.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar evenly over each tart and dot the top with butter.
Bake until the pastry is thoroughly browned and the surface of the figs is lightly caramelized, 20 25 minutes.
Serve warm with whipped cream.

Roasted pears and figs compote  Print Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time:30 minutes

4 firm-ripe Bartlett pears
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
6 dried figs, quartered lengthwise
8 ounces plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Halve the pears lengthwise and core them, then cut each half lengthwise into 3 wedges.
In a large nonstick ovenproof skillet, cook the sugar, apple juice and butter over moderate heat until the butter melts.
Stir in the cinnamon and allspice. Stir in the pears and figs and cook for 5 minutes.
Transfer the pears to the oven and roast for 25 minutes, or until tender.
Whisk the yogurt with the vanilla and superfine sugar. Spoon the compote on plates.
Serve warm or at room temperature with the yogurt sauce.
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Measures of non liquid ingredients

Non-liquid ingredients in volume converted
into weight using the table below.
For products not included, use a metric scale
Weight of specific 'ingredients in grams


1 cup

3/4 cup

2/3 cup

1/2 cup

1/3 cup

1/4 cup

2 tablespoons

All-purpose wheat flour 120 g 90 g 80 g 60 g 40 g 30 g 15 g
All-purpose sifted wheat flour 110 g 80 g 70 g 55 g 35 g 27 g 13 g
White sugar 200 g 150 g 130 g 100 g 65 g 50 g 25 g
Powdered sugar/Icing sugar 100 g 75 g 70 g 50 g 35 g 25 g 13 g
Brown sugar normally packed 180 g 135 g 120 g 90 g 60 g 45 g 23 g
Corn flour 160 g 120 g 100 g 80 g 50 g 40 g 20 g
Cornstarch 120 g 90 g 80 g 60 g 40 g 30 g 15 g
Rice (not-cooked) 190 g 140 g 125 g 95 g 65 g 48 g 24 g
Macaroni (uncooked) 140 g 100 g 90 g 70 g 45 g 35 g 17 g
Couscous (uncooked) 180 g 135 g 120 g 90 g 60 g 45 g 22 g
Quick oatmeal (uncooked) 90 g 65 g 60 g 45 g 30 g 22 g 11 g
Table salt 300 g 230 g 200 g 150 g 100 g 75 g 40 g
Butter / Margarine 240 g 180 g 160 g 120 g 80 g 60 g 30 g
Shortening 190 g 140 g 125 g 95 g 65 g 48 g 24 g
Fruits and légumes chopped 150 g 110 g 100 g 75 g 50 g 40 g 20 g
chopped walnuts 150 g 110 g 100 g 75 g 50 g 40 g 20 g
Nuts /ground almonds 120 g 90 g 80 g 60 g 40 g 30 g 15 g
Fresh bread crumbs (not packed) 60 g 45 g 40 g 30 g 20 g 15 g 8 g
Dry bread crumbs 150 g 110 g 100 g 75 g 50 g 40 g 20 g
Parmesan grated 90 g 65 g 60 g 45 g 30 g 22 g 11 g
Chocolate chips 150 g 110 g 100 g 75 g 50 g 38 g  19 g
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