I wasn’t even five years old and I can remember arriving to this new place. Everything we wanted was to recognize every single corner of it. The garden was filled with several fruit trees: bananas, apples, oranges of many kinds, a wired vineyard… and a very old fig tree which I decided to be friend with. He would wait for me with his branch to be my seat and I would tell him whatever had happened. The years passed by and my fig tree didn’t bear figs. One day my father decided to give him “a radical prune”. That was so much suffering!
By that time I only knew “figs in syrup” prepared in the pan with grated green fruit, previously ordered. Far away from gardens and courtyards I used to be after ripe figs in little carton boxes, sold like sweet-stuffs. It was such a strong fascination that the least important thing was to taste them. I wanted to open the box, only to see the colour of a ripe fig. Thus, I learned how to hallow its beauty. Not many interventions at all. A ripe fig only needs a dash of oil or honey. At most, a drop of balsamic vinegar. And the combination of a good piece of cheese, prosciutto and green rocket. Moreover, if there is any intention to shine for the dessert, just let half of it to plunge into the custard sauce.
Figs with custard sauce
Ingredients for the sauce
1 tea cup of refined sugar
400 ml of milk
4 yolks (without any eggwhite)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
In a bowl, beat the yolks and the sugar very well up to the point you will see a soft and whitish eggnog consistency. Put the milk in a pan and cook it in a medium heat. When it boils, pour it over the eggnog little by little, smoothly but constantly – if you beat strongly it will form much foam over the cream. Pour all the content again in the pan and using low heat, keep stirring it with a wooden spoon so it won`t form any grume and won`t let it boil either. When the cream gets ticker, remove the pan immediately from the stove to interrupt the cooking process; this also avoids it to curdle. Add vanilla and mix everything very well. The sauce must be smooth, homogeneous with no grumes. Cool it down stirring every now again to prevent the formation of a membrane. When it gets cold, take it to the fridge. If after all this care you see the grumes, you just need to percolate or sift the cream. And if it gets curdled, let it cool down and blend it.
Wash the figs well and cut them in halves. Put the halves in bowls and add the cold cream, do not let it involve the fruit.