"I know of only one fig tree here in southwest England that produces fruit that actually ripens to perfection. The owner of the tree sends a few kilos down to River Cottage each year, which is such a treat. A fig in the right condition – that being sweet, soft (but not overly) and dark blue and red, like a bloody bruise – is a thing so wonderful you need little else of a morning. This recipe, which I'll call a ‘weekend breakfast', has a feeling of the Mediterranean about it: figs, fragrant thyme, thick, sour yoghurt, and honey in the comb." - Gill Meller.
400 ml thick Greek yoghurt
6 perfectly ripe figs
2–3 Tbs runny honey and honeycomb
Few thyme sprigs (optional) for the barley crumble
100 g plain flour
Pinch of fine salt
100 g butter, cubed and chilled
75 g golden caster sugar
75 g barley flakes
First, make the barley crumble. Heat the oven to 175°C. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix and rub the ingredients thoroughly together until you have formed clumps and lumps.
Line a large baking tray with a piece of baking parchment. Tip out the mixture onto the tray and distribute evenly. Place in the oven for 20–30 minutes, turning the crumble over three or four times during baking, until it is evenly golden all over. Remove from the oven.
To construct the dish, spoon the yoghurt out onto a large serving plate or platter and spread it evenly over the base. Halve the figs, or quarter them if they are large, and scatter the pieces over the yoghurt. Cut the honeycomb up into small sticky bits and distribute this in, around and over the figs.
Scatter over a few generous handfuls of the barley crumble, and finish off with a little shake of leaves from the thyme sprig, if using.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Time by Gill Meller published by Hardie Grant Books $39.99 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: © Andrew Montgomery.