Wild figs, winter strawberries and sherry with blancmange recipe
Sweet, nutty blancmange is decorated with the fig, strawberry and pomegranate mixture.
Vogue Entertaining + Travel - June/July 2007 , Page 100
Recipe by Sophia Young
Photography by Petrina Tinslay
250ml (1 cup) oloroso sherry (see note)
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
150g Iranian small wild dried figs (see note)
500g small strawberries, hulled, halved
Seeds of 1 pomegranate (optional)
Thinly peeled zest of 1 lemon
300g natural almonds
165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
4 x 5g titanium-strength gelatine leaves
375ml (1 1/4 cups) pouring cream, whipped to soft peaks
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
For blancmange, process almonds in a food processor until finely ground, add 625ml (2 1/2 cups) boiling water and process for 1 minute, then transfer to a bowl and stand for 30 minutes. Line a sieve with muslin or a tea towel and strain almond mixture over a bowl. Once liquid stops dripping, gather fabric into a ball and squeeze tightly to extract remaining moisture. Discard solids. Pour 500ml (2 cups) â€˜almond milkâ€™ into a small pan, add sugar and stir over medium heat until dissolved.
Meanwhile, soak gelatine leaves in cold water for 2 minutes or until softened, squeeze out excess water and stir into almond milk until dissolved. Place saucepan over a bowl filled with ice and leave to cool for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.
Using a large metal spoon, fold cream and almond extract into almond mixture, then spoon among eight oiled 160ml ramekins and refrigerate overnight to set.
Bring sherry, sugar and 125ml (1/2 cup) water to the boil in a small pan. Remove from heat, add figs and soak for 1 hour. Drain figs and set aside, then simmer liquid over medium heat for 15 minutes or until syrupy. Cool, then toss with figs, strawberries, pomegranate seeds, if using, and zest. To serve, dip moulds briefly into warm water, turn onto plates and spoon over fig mixture.
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