"A quickly-prepared and delicious dessert can be made from a cupful of stiffly whipped cream, one tablespoonful castor sugar, half a cupful of nut-meats and a little chopped fig preserves. Serve in tall sherbet glasses that have been lined with lady-fingers or thin slices of sponge-cake, and garnish with a few candied cherries. This dessert can be made in a few moments, and should be served as cold as possible. It looks dainty and tastes delicious."
Jeanette C. Van Duyn, Canning, Preserving, Pickling and Fruit Desserts (1921)
Here in the UK we’re stuck in that awkward, early spring, fruit garden hungry gap where nothing is anywhere near fruiting, bnever mind being ripe and ready enough to pick fresh, unless you’ve got a particularly early variety of rhubarb1Technically a vegetable, not a fruit, I know, but it still works brilliantly in a crumble. or have forced a crown or two.
Today’s recipe comes to the rescue, by making use of some of the preserved fruit – in this case, figs – that you prepared and laid down in your cellar or pantry last summer and autumn, when your fruit harvest was at the peak of perfect ripeness.
As Jeanette C. Van Duyn says, this is a simple recipe that needs little unpacking from me. Except… the author gives us a list of ingredients, but doesn’t actually tell us what to do with them. Do we whip the cream then sprinkle on the castor sugar or whip the two together? Are the nuts mixed through the cream, or scattered on top? Are the preserved figs mixed in, or dolloped on the top? Or on the bottom? Does it really matter? Can you just wing it and hope for the best? Probably, yes. Pass the sherbet glasses, and let’s just give it a go.
How about you? Do you like the sound of this dainty, cakey, creamy, figgy confection? Do let me know if so, via the comments.
- 1Technically a vegetable, not a fruit, I know, but it still works brilliantly in a crumble.