I just adore fresh figs, and when they are in season, in late summer/early autumn, I try and eat at least one every day; they have a velvet -smooth deep purple skin, which contrasts perfectly with jewel- pink flesh, and the texture and taste is divine. They’re incredibly nutritious too, full of calcium, magnesium, fibre, and vitamins. In Ayurveda, they’re considered to be energising, cleansing of the entire digestive tract, and above all, OJAS boosting. Ojas is our natural immunity, so important for our holistic health, and for our strength and resilience. Figs are great for young and old, and I’d encourage anyone to eat them daily when they are available. I created this simple crumble using the freshest figs, and a little dark chocolate, both of which offer a great alternative to the more ubiquitous apple or rhubarb crumbles. The cheeky little bit of chocolate, which gently melts into the fig’s flesh, helps to make this a rather special tasting dessert that rounds off a sunday lunch perfectly.
My advice when it comes to crumble mix is to feel your way; you can decide what you prefer in terms of crumble texture, by mixing lightly, or rubbing more (this makes a denser crumble), and you can opt for self raising or plain flour, it makes little difference. You can add a small amount of ground almonds, or almond flakes (sprinkle the flakes over the crumble topping before you bake), and you can choose any sugar you want. Measurements are always a bit hit and miss too, so I tend to not use them, but I’ve given you an idea of proportions of ingredients to work with, which of course you experiment with.
To serve 6:
8 fresh plump figs
16 tiny rectangular pieces of dark chocolate (I used Divine dark, with smooth hazelnut)
Around 200g flour
Around 150g cold, unsalted butter
Around 85g sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºc
Cut the figs in half and sit them flesh side up in a small enough baking dish for them to be snug. Place a chocolate piece on top of each half. Put the flour in a mixing bowl, and cut the butter into small squares, then slowly start rubbing them into the flour, a little at a time. You are looking for a crumble mix that is neither too sticky nor too dry, so again, feel your way. Once you’ve got the texture you like, add the sugar (I like to use dark muscovado, or jaggery) and mix everything with your hands. Now distribute the crumble evenly over the figs, and bake for around 30-40 minutes until the crumble is light golden, and everything is bubbling.
Serve with vanilla ice cream, cream, creme fraiche, custard, or any other accompaniment you like!