My fig tree is saying goodbye. Goodbye to the summer, goodbye to her languorous days in the sun and goodbye to all her evergreen friends. She flaps her leaves bravely in the brisk, Sydney breeze, hoping for one last swansong. To be loved one more time before her curtain falls. Yes, it is pruning season and she senses doom – an un-greenfinger bearing pruning shears. We both don’t know if she will survive it. If she will live to see another bright, sparkling, glorious, Sydney summer. But such is life. Seasons pass, time advances, we love and we learn.
We have decided to honour her last bounty in the best possible way. Let her signature fruit be exalted by simple, clean flavours and take pride of place in each fond eaters memory.
Autumnal, French fig pie with cardamom clotted cream
This has to be my favourite fig dessert. The figs are lightly nestled amongst rich, buttery frangipane and baked in a sweet, crumbly shortcrust pastry. I lightly fold the pastry up over the frangipane and figs to allow the sides to brown up. It is best served straight from the oven with a large (I stress large) dollop of cardamom-sweetened clotted cream. I have had this pie many times over in quaint, little French villages where locals use whatever fruit is in season. It is thrown together quickly just like it has come from a French, farmyard kitchen – easy, relaxed and bursting with flavour. The flavours are warm, earthy and homely – just what you feel like after a day out in falling leaves and blustery breezes.
Enjoy, savour and devour!