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Gordon Ramsay's sherry-glazed figs with pine nut brittle

‘A light and original dessert, this is truly delicious. The nut brittle – which can also be made with slivered almonds or roughly broken hazelnuts – adds a lovely contrasting crunch to the figs and caramel and can be made in advance. The figs should be glazed just before serving, but this will take only a few minutes’

13 DECEMBER 2011
Figs Enlarge
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 8 large figs
  • 1-2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 25g/1oz unsalted butter
  • 125ml/4½fl oz Pedro Ximénez sherry
  • Crème fraîche, to serve

For the pine nut brittle
  • 100g/4oz caster sugar
  • 100g/4oz pine nuts

Method

1. First, make the pine nut brittle. (This can be done several days in advance and stored in an airtight container.) Line a baking sheet with a non-stick silicone mat. Put the sugar into a dry frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Without stirring, let the sugar dissolve and begin to caramelise. Swirl the pan to ensure that the caramel colours evenly. When it’s beginning to turn a terracottabrown colour, add the pine nuts and swirl to coat. Pour onto the silicone mat and tilt the baking sheet so it spreads thinly (or use a heatproof spatula). Leave to cool and harden.

2. Once completely cooled, break the brittle into small pieces.

3. About 10 minutes before serving, prepare the figs. Trim the tops, halve vertically then sprinkle the cut surfaces with a little sugar. Melt the butter in a wide frying pan over a high heat. As it begins to foam, add the figs, cut-side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves and caramelises.

4. Pour in the sherry and simmer for about 30 seconds. Carefully transfer the figs to a warmed plate, leaving the sherry in the pan. Boil the sherry until it’s reduced by half to a light syrupy glaze.

5. Divide the figs between individual plates and drizzle over the sherry glaze. Add some pine nut brittle, a neat spoonful of crème fraîche and serve immediately.

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