Figs. They’re sort of new to me. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one before this year, when they were sat looking delicious at my fruit and veg man’s stall and I took a punt on four for two pounds. I put them in porridge, I roasted them, I put them in salads. Delicious.
I brought some more figs this week, and realised I wasn’t being nearly enough inventive with them. I had got some of my usual pre-made vegan puff pastry (I know, Paul Hollywood; I should be ashamed) and, because autumn has definitely arrived in Edinburgh, I’ve got it into my head that warming, crispy, fruit-filled desserts need to be made. Figs pair beautifully with blueberries and vanilla – so why not wrap the whole shebang in that gorgeous, crispy, layered pastry and serve?
Why not exactly.
These are free from any additional processed sugar (you can even leave out the agave / maple syrup if you like), meaning that you can be as guilt-free eating these for breakfast as you are eating them after a cosy dinner at night. Cooking down the fruit creates an absolutely perfect sauce to go over the top; I love sprinkling them with a little icing sugar and drizzling the syrup over them and serving them up to a delightfully surprised guest.
Of course, they’re great to grab and go, and just as good served with whipped coconut cream or coconut yogurt too. How could they not be?
(Makes 4 large turnovers)
1 sheet vegan puff pastry (Jus Rol is my favourite, but places like Tesco also do this)
6 fresh figs, tops and bottoms cut off, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups blueberries
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon agave / maple syrup (or honey if you’re not vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
the zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Ensure it’s fully preheated. Lightly grease a breaking sheet
Place the figs, blueberries, water, sweetened, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon zest in a small sauce pan, and stir together
Set over a low heat and allow to come to a simmer. Simmer with 15 minutes with the lid on and then 15 minutes with the lid off. After this time, the mixture should have reduced down to a thin jam.*
Roll the puff pastry sheet out onto a floured surface and cut into 4 equal squares or rectangles
Place 1/4 of the fruit mixture into one side of each square. Fold the pastry over the fruit to make triangles, and press the edges together to seal
Place the turnovers onto the baking sheet, brush the tops with almond milk and place immediately into the oven
Allow to cook for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden brown
Allow to cool then serve
*Another option here is to strain the fruit while there’s a little of the thick sauce left in the pan. Then set this sauce aside and use it to serve on top of your turnovers. Like so:
Maybe it’s the pinch of cinnamon. Maybe it’s the soft and sweet filling. Maybe it’s the fact that I want to eat about 12 of them; whatever it is, these taste like cosy autumn nights and lazy Saturday mornings all rolled into one. I want to make them for everyone I know. I’m going to.
See you in the spring. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the kitchen.