Honey pastries with baked figs
I love this Spanish twist on baklava from José Pizarro's gorgeous book Andalucia - it would make the perfect end to a summer meal.
José writes: "This is my kind of dessert – packed with interesting flavours, and a stunning centrepiece for the table. It’s hard to beat roasted figs, bursting with sweetness straight from the oven, with just a touch of soft goat’s cheese and honeyfor balance.
NOTE: CONTAINS NUTS
125 g (4 ½ oz/2⁄3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
50 ml (2 fl oz/ ¼ cup) honey
½ teaspoon orange blossom water
225 ml (7 ½ fl oz/scant 1 cup) water
150 g (5 oz) mixed nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
100 g (3 ½ oz) unsalted butter, melted
6–8 sheets of filo pastry
For the figs
8 ripe figs, halved
good drizzle of honey
4 tablespoons Pedro Ximenez sherry
handful of flaked almonds, toasted
creme fraiche (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
In a small saucepan, melt the sugar, honey and orange blossom water with the water, then simmer gently for 10–15 minutes, until slightly reduced and syrupy.
Mix the chopped nuts with the cinnamon. Lightly grease an 18–20 cm (7–8 in) square shallow tin with a little of the melted butter. Lay a sheet of filo in the bottom (trim if necessary) and brush with the butter, scatter with the nuts then add another layer of filo and melted butter.
Repeat 4 times, ending with a final layer of filo. Butter the top generously and use a sharp knife to cut into diamond shapes. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden and crisp.
Spoon half of the cooled syrup over the pastries as they come out of the oven. Let stand for 5 minutes, then spoon over the rest of the syrup. Allow to cool completely in the tin.
As the pastries are cooling, place the figs in a small baking dish and drizzle with honey and sherry. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes until tender. Serve the pastries with the baked figs and a dollop of creme fraiche, if you like.
What to drink: Although you could drink sherry with this I personally think it would be too much of a good think and would go instead for a Spanish moscatel or other muscat-based dessert wine.
From ANDALUSIA: Recipes from Seville and beyond by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant, £26.00) Photographer: Emma Lee
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