Last of the Season

1 December 2006

It’s been a while since we got back to cold, wet England – and still seem to be on Pacific time, already missing the sun (and people :)) in California. We enjoyed lovely food throughout the stay, but not being able to cook for more than two weeks was a bit like torture for me – even more so when you come across so much lovely, fresh produce and you know you can’t cook it!

I’ll write about our trip later on, but here are some things I rustled up when we got back – I luckily got hold of the last figs of the season.
 


Black fig and chilli tagliatelli – a very simple pasta dish, from this recipe. I normally find creamy sauce too rich, but this was lovely. The heat from the grilled chillis and the sweetness of the figs work really well. I used green figs instead of black ones but it was equally delicious.
 


Flatbread with oven-dried figs, caramelised onions and blue cheese – a classic combination, I really like the rustic flavours. Roasting figs and slowly caramelising onions beforehand gives a lovely concentrated taste – they go wonderfully well with the walnuts and blue cheese. I used Italian ‘00’ flour instead of bread (strong) flour this time and it lent it a light, fluffy texture which complemented the topping nicely. Recipe from here (PDF link).
 


This is another recipe ‘with a twist’ from this Japanese patissier. The tuille biscuits are made with buckwheat flour – and the sandwiched custard cream has fig jam in it. These tuille biscuits are much crunchier and have more bite than the usual variety – and I think it works well with the textures/flavours from the figs. I used a shop bought jam for this, but you can always make it yourself (a good sounding recipe in the above PDF link) or you can have roasted (or even fresh) figs instead.
 


Oh and our cat was missing us loads (or vice versa) while we were away… We are lucky to have such kind neighbours who don’t mind looking after him as we know he gets freaked out when he has to go to the cattery. I’m hoping to get back to posting more regularly soon, and will try to write back to your messages and comments, thank you all for being patient!

PS
Since my last post I’ve changed the blog engine I’m using, so the URLs for the articles and particularly the RSS/Atom feeds have changed. The old ones still work for now, but please update any bookmarks and feeds you’re using. Thank you!
 

Buckwheat tuille biscuits with fig custard cream

Makes about 25

For the biscuits
60g buckwheat flour
80g Icing sugar
20g corn flour
80ml double cream
40ml milk
60g (2 small) egg whites
20g caster sugar

For the fig custard
200ml milk
2 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
10g plain flour
10g corn flour
20g unsalted butter
60g fig jam (adjust to taste)
 

To make the biscuits, place the buckwheat flour, icing sugar and corn flour in a bowl and lightly mix. Pour in the double cream and milk and mix well. Place the egg whites and caster sugar in a separate bowl then whisk to the ‘ribbon stage’ (it folds into ribbons as you lift the whisk). Carefully fold the meringue into the buckwheat mixture with a spatula and rest in the fridge for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Spoon the mixture onto baking sheets, each biscuit about 2.5cm diameter, and bake for about 15 minutes.

To make the custard, place the milk in a pan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Sift both flours into the egg mixture and mix well. Pour the hot milk into the mixture, whisking constantly, return it to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring all the time, until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and blend in the butter. Mix in the fig jam when the custard is cool.

To serve, spoon over (or pipe) the custard onto the biscuits, then top with another biscuit, dusted with some icing sugar if desired.
 

        42 comments    Permalink

  • Welcome back Keiko. Can’t wait to hear about your trip :)
    The figs pasta sounds interesting, might give it a try if I can find some figs.

    Posted by ilingc | 1 December 2006 #
  • that long already – wish we could have spent more time with you Keiko.
    I have some Buckwheat flour and it would be great to make something other than pancakes with it! Maybe I will give it a try.

    Posted by sam | 2 December 2006 #
  • Thank you for making such a great blog. i Love Figs , your recipes are great.

    Posted by M from Hong Kong | 2 December 2006 #
  • Keiko—I stopped reading after “Black fig and chilli tagliatelli” because I was too excited. Okay, I didn’t really stop reading but I have to tell you that this sounds like a magnificent use of figs and now I’m really hungry. Hello to Matthew and the kitty.

    Posted by Kevin | 2 December 2006 #
  • hi keiko!
    it’s amazing to see how your blog has progressed in the last year. i always enjoy coming back to look at your new experiments and wonderful photos and am still surprised that you’ve had no formal training (you’re too good! you must be lying haha) i hope you continue to keep blogging for a long time and thanks for all of your posts so far, they’re all very interesting to read :)

    Posted by cathy x. | 2 December 2006 #
  • beautiful as usual I love specially the buckwheat biscuits!

    Posted by mercotte | 2 December 2006 #
  • Love your cake pictures but where can we find the ingredients to those fabulous cakes. You did describe the method to do it but u didn’t write the ingredients. Can you provide the recipes. A good example is one that you blog on Buckwheat tuille biscuits with fig custard cream…u gave all the ingredients and method on how to bake it and is easy to follow. Thanks.

    Posted by allan albert T. | 2 December 2006 #
  • Keiko, as always, your photos are an isnpiration for me and thank you for the recipe of Buckwheat tuille biscuits, I am going to make them very soon, as I was wondering what to do with buckwheat flour except crepes and blinis. Thanks a lot! And have a nice end of the week!

    Posted by Vita | 2 December 2006 #
  • I’ve been away for a while, but I must remember to check back regularly! Your food photography is stunning. I love the first photo in this post – the DOF is absulutely spot on.

    Posted by SD | 2 December 2006 #
  • Welcome back Keiko! I missed your posts a lot! And I am sure everyone did, too. Taglietelli looks wonderful. I love it when you take an ingredient and try lots of different and interesting recipes with it.
    Cheers
    Cenk

    Posted by Cenk | 2 December 2006 #
  • California; the weather and our people will welcome you {and Matthew} back anytime you want!

    And I must steal this word you’ve introduced me to: “cattery.”

    Posted by shuna fish lydon | 3 December 2006 #
  • I hope it´s ok that I show some pictures that you´ve taken for my readers in Sweden. I’ll link to you, of course :)

    Posted by Roomservice | 3 December 2006 #
  • hi keiko, welcome back – how we’ve missed your always perfect, always gorgeous posts! i just love how this shows off the fig’s incredible versatility. my favourite, of course, are the buckwheat tuiles with fig custard – how ingenious! the combination looks delicious…

    Posted by Joycelyn | 4 December 2006 #
  • lovely figgies … thanks for the link such a nice article on figs!

    Posted by slurp! | 4 December 2006 #
  • Woaw Keiko
    J’aimerais bien partager ta table
    et toutes ces merveilles dont tu as le secret !
    See you soon

    Posted by Camille | 4 December 2006 #
  • welcome back keiko!! and already we’re being treated to some gorgeous feeds here.. ;)

    Posted by Lil | 4 December 2006 #
  • There’s just something about a fig, isn’t there … something wanton and divine. Blue cheese and figs is one of my all-time favourite combinations and I’ve added your flatbread recipe to my very long list of dishes to make. Thanks for the inspiration and beautiful photography.

    Posted by Stephanie | 4 December 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    the tagliatelle look exquisite. I love the idea of figs in pasta.

    PS thanks for the nice words on foodbeam’s winter look!

    - fanny

    Posted by fanny | 5 December 2006 #
  • Welcome back, Keiko! Oh, how I adore figs… I think the flatbread recipe sounds like complete heaven. And I can’t wait to hear more about your trip!

    Poor kitty! I know back home in South Africa, our cats also had to go to the cattery when we went away and this freaked them out completely. In the car on the way home when we’d fetch them, they’d crawl behind you on the seat and sit there in the small of your back, trembling. Thank goodness we later found a woman who was also a breeder and ran a small cattery with gorgeous facilities – upstairs/downstairs accommodation, toys and a private outdoor run. But they still weren’t exactly ecstatic when they saw their baskets being taken out of storage ;-)

    Posted by Jeanne | 5 December 2006 #
  • Never sees using figs with shilli and pasta! I wish you posted this oen before so that I could have tried it out!

    Posted by Francesco | 5 December 2006 #
  • Hajimemashita Keiko San!
    Ano ne,
    From where i come from, they say that the fig is a fruit that originally came out of heaven, so, combined with your excellent cooking and beautiful photography, your fig dishes must be heavenly! I’ve been reading your blogs from time to time for a while now and Keiko-San, i think you are a genius in everything you do. Out of all the foodblog sites that i have ever come across, yours and Susan’s “farmgirl fare” blog must be the mosttt interesting ones to read! I wonder if you’ve ever come across her site? It’s at http://foodiefarmgirl.blogspot.com

    Jya Ato De!

    Posted by YanYan | 5 December 2006 #
  • Welcome back..
    Looks like your on the road again and start to present your awsome dishes.. Thanks for your kind comment..

    I will try does biscuits..

    Posted by Hale | 5 December 2006 #
  • That fig pasta just makes my mout water. I agree with stephanie that there is something about figs that conjures up something sublimely sexy.

    Posted by Veron | 5 December 2006 #
  • Thanks for visiting! Those cats are not related; the little one is a female, Bear, and the large one, male, is called Soul.

    I’ve been to your blog before; please give photo hints—or where to go for them. It would be much appreciated!

    Posted by tut-tut | 5 December 2006 #
  • I do love your foodblog! it’s always a pleasure to read it… congratulations!

    Posted by peggy | 6 December 2006 #
  • What a lovely set of dishes Keiko. I am waiting to be a guest at your table ;-) Too far, ah well, never mind. Beautifully done and shot as usual with you.

    Posted by bea at La tartine gourmande | 7 December 2006 #
  • Mmmm sounds and looks perfect ! I can’t wait to see your pics from Califormia and I’m glad you’re back :)
    Cheers

    Posted by Fred | 7 December 2006 #
  • Welcome back Keiko. You have been missed!

    Posted by simonetta | 7 December 2006 #
  • would like easy receipe for stromboli

    Posted by gen | 7 December 2006 #
  • hi keiko, i’d love to eat the tagliatelle and my eyes loved to eat the flatbread photo :) so gorgeous!

    Posted by anne | 8 December 2006 #
  • Beautiful pictures as ever. And congratulations on being mentioned in Olive magazine.

    Posted by Eryn | 10 December 2006 #
  • I check your blog every so often – I love food and photography so I enjoy looking. Your pretty cat looks like my two cats – is it a Russian Blue?

    Posted by Maggi | 11 December 2006 #
  • Beautiful cat! More cat pictures please!

    Posted by Rianna | 12 December 2006 #
  • Welcome back! Figs are one of my favourite fruit especially when paired with savoury ingredients. The pasta looks delicious!

    Posted by steffles | 14 December 2006 #
  • 無花果、大好きなんです!なので写真見た瞬間から悶えました。笑
    下のドライ無花果もいい色ですね~。オーブンで出来ちゃうの?見た目も味もrusticなんて、そそられます~!
    ニャーン、て声が聞こえそうな写真も素敵。

    Posted by akane:rgb~nanairo-nianco | 14 December 2006 #
  • hi keiko! mmm, i love the sweet heat this dish has. i can just imagine how delish with the noodles. mmmmm, droool!!!

    Posted by aria | 14 December 2006 #
  • I think the fig and chili pasta sounds wonderful! I love unusual flavor combinations, especially sweet and spicy ones! Your photography is absolutely amazing!

    Posted by Nicole | 18 December 2006 #
  • Hi there, thank you so much for all your kind notes.

    Allan – I always note where the recipes come from, so please buy the books if you’re interested. As for the Japanese recipes, I simply don’t have time to translate them – will try when I can.

    Shuna – I’d like to know what cattery is called in the States :)

    YanYan – I love her site :)

    Gen – as I wrote in the post, you can find the recipe in Bringing Italy Home by Ursula Ferrigno.

    Maggi – he is just a mongrel cat :) Is there any place I can see your beautiful kitties?

    Posted by keiko | 12 January 2007 #
  • you have such a beautiful blog. wonderful photographs!

    Posted by Mare | 15 June 2011 #
  • good job !!!

    Posted by lahcen | 11 July 2011 #
  • Oh my god, one of the best places to eat in New York makes a sandwich cookie that is similar to this. I am salivating at the site of this image. Thanks you for the recipe that I will now be using this weekend! :)

    Posted by blondebomber | 7 November 2011 #
  • Thanks for the blog kieko! We have a fig tree behind our house —— waiting for fruit now to try some of these decadent treats :)

    Posted by Don Farrelly | 9 September 2012 #
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