This is one of those desserts that when you serve it, people say ‘What is it?’ – You can’t tell from the warm golden crust because all the juicy fruit you placed on top of the almond batter before baking has sunk to the bottom, creating a wonderful, sticky rich layer underneath.
Fresh figs won’t be available for long but this is just as good made with with ripe plums, peaches, nectarines or pears – try adding a few of your favorite berries; perhaps a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dash of pure vanilla, some finely shredded lemon or orange zest…or even dark chocolate chips if you’re using pears – they all go well with almonds.
I just happened to have a basket of fat ripe figs in my fridge and I’m always looking for new ways to serve my favorite fruit.
Along with a handful of large, late raspberries, they combined to make a lovely, comforting pudding. The only adornment – asides from a sprinkle of powdered sugar – should be a large dollop of crème fraiche or a scoop of very good vanilla ice cream.
There’s no flour in this recipe and the ground almonds keep it really moist.
5 ½ oz (156g) of unsalted butter at room temp, divided
2 ¾ lbs (1.25k) of fresh figs, stalks snipped off and quartered (or pitted plums, peaches etc)
A handful of fresh raspberries
1 and 1/3 cups (320ml measure) of sugar, divided
1 teaspoon of finely chopped orange zest
1 cup (240ml measure) of flaked almonds plus 2 tablespoons
2 large eggs
Powdered (icing) sugar to serve
Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a large non-stick pan over medium heat then add the fruit (not the raspberries, if using) and 2/3 cup (160ml) of sugar – stir gently until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit starts to release its juice. Set aside to cool.
Butter eight 1 and 1/4 cup (300ml) sized ramekins or equivalent shallow gratin dish.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C).
In a food processor, grind up the almonds with 1/3 cup (80ml) of sugar until fine.
Beat the remaining softened butter with the remaining sugar until pale and then beat in the eggs followed by the ground almond mixture.
Divide amongst the ramekins; divide up the raspberries and stick them into the batter.
Arrange the figs on top and pour all the pan juices over.
Bake for approx 40 minutes or until the top is golden and the fruit underneath is tender when pierced with a skewer.
Allow the puddings to cool for 15 minutes then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serve warm and pass around some crème fraiche or good vanilla ice cream.