Thursday, 15 January 2015

Pan De Higo/Spanish Fig and Almond Spheres

Last Year I found in Waitrose something different to serve with the cheeseboard known as Pan De Higo (dried fig cake)  which is traditionally served in Spain with cheese. Its usually kept on the Cheese counter. So much so I decided earlier on this year that I was going to create my own to serve with the cheeseboard this year; unfortunately I did not quite get there.  The intent was there, I just ran out of time. Needless to say it is on the list for this year even if I am a tad early at the moment.  The inspiration for this post was me sorting out my dried fruit and how to use it up.

If you want to make the traditional recipe then here is a super link here for a very traditional version.

Then I found this recipe for Spanish Fig and Almond Spheres in one of my magazines.

4oz/100g of whole almonds

500g/pack dried whole figs with the hard stalk and centre removed
85g/3oz dried Apricots chopped into small pieces
50g/2oz dried cranberries
1tbsp brandy
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tsp of ground cloves
100g/4oz toasted sesame seeds

Pop the almonds into a food processor and process until finely chopped.  Tip into a separate bowl.  

Roughly chop the figs then whizz to a sticky paste, scrape onto the chopped almonds in the separate bowl.

Then using you hands mix together with the dried fruit, brandy, honey and cloves.

Divide the mixture into six and then roll into balls/spheres.  Tip the toasted sesame seeds onto a tray and then roll the balls in them until completely covered in sesame seeds and place on a clean tray.

Cover the tray loosely with a clean tea cloth and leave to dry for about a week before packaging in cellophane bags with a label writing serving suggestions on a tag.  Will keep somewhere cool for about two months.

Alternatively pile into a round cake tin and spread evenly; dry in the same way above then cut in wedges.  Serve with cheese delicious and a good way of using up dried fruit you do not have to keep this recipe just for Xmas (they still have it in the cheese counter at Waitrose.

Catch you soon



My lovely friend Bovey Belle mentioned that as she does not eat cheese anymore it would probably be something that she would not make.
I felt that this point was/is relevant to everyone but my honest opinion is  I think you could eat this on its own like a sweetmeat like you would candied ginger and other glace or sugar preserved whole fruit or dates stuffed with marzipan.  Make this in a small miniature cake pan as a sweet treat cut into thin wedges like you would a piece of cake.  You do not in my opinion have to eat it with cheese it is just the traditional custom that it is commonly served in this way.  You can create your own traditions.  However the main reason I believe in this is that I have a recipe for a Provencal dried Fig cake which uses similar ingredients but is layered and presented in a different way. 
I do love traditional recipes of this kind from different countries - and I think this is a common thread among many of us especially judging by how much Pannetone, Nougat, Panforte, Ricciarelli, Turkish Delight, Amaretti, Maccaron etc. are on sale in the bigger stores like Lewis' and M & S - however I do not always like paying the prices such delicacies command hence me locating recipes to make my own as you get more for your money in the long run but it is also a time to explore and experiment.  I have a rule if I do not like something then I do not make it again, but many of the recipes I have used I go on to use time and time again..
I also believe that we have a very strong heritage of English goodies as well  in this country like out traditional Christmas Cakes and Puddings which when home made are far superior to the mass produced versions and moister and oh such full of flavour.  Goodies in which to stock the Pantry and also make as gifts for friends, but there is no harm in making your own versions of said goodies to treat your family members and loved ones.
Every country has something to bring to the table its a cross pollination of cultures that joins seamlessly as we all have a common interest in food.


1 comment:

  1. That sounds very unusual. A pity I can no longer eat dairy products!


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