Food and literature is a powerful combo. In August as part of Idealo Holidays Read, I got my teeth in Madeline Miller's The Songs of Achilles, a beautiful love story which was a key element to the Trojan war. Miller is a story-teller who with this book weaves effortlessly mythology and the known records of day-to-day living in ancient Greece.
Achilles and Patroclus are both princes but they couldn't be more different. The former is handsome and arrogant, the latter shy and sensitive and when the two heroes eventually make contact, when the graceful Achilles turns his attention towards the captivating Patroclus... he throws a fig at him.
From that page on I craved for figs. Had I been living in France, I would have gone to my friend's garden and raided her fig tree. Instead, I dashed to the supermarket and was virtually stopped on my tracks, horrified at the price of figs, I would have to stop by the bank to remortgage the house before I got enough to pay for that crumble.
That crumble is a Zester Daily recipe, which was stored in my private Spring Pad for a while. All along I knew it would make good entry in Tinned Tomatoes' challenge Bookmarked recipes I am just sorry I missed the September round-up as I am not too sure fresh figs will be around at the end of October. On the other hand you might have to keep that recipe until figs lure us again next summer.
I have replaced the pecans by walnuts in a effort to keep that dish thrifty. The nuts give the crumble a delightful taste. In my opinion the crumble will work better if the figs are peeled
For the topping:
150g shelled walnuts
100 cup rolled oats
80g unbleached all-purpose flour
180g firmly packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
110g cold butter, cut into smallish pieces
For the figs:
2 pounds fresh ripe figs, stemmed, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
⅓ cup mild honey, preferably lavender
2 tablespoons Port
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Heat the nuts under the grill until they have toasted but not browned, chop coarsely.
3. Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt, either in a bowl or in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and stir to get an even mix. Add the butter and mix again until you get a crumbly mixture
8. Make the fig filling: Place the figs in the baking dish, cut side up. Drizzle on the honey and douse with the Port. Bake 30 minutes.
10. Sprinkle on the topping and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until bubbling.
11. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, crème fraiche or custard sauce.
If you wish to purchase Madeline Miller's Novel click here