Honey-curd pies with rose-scented figs

Honey-curd pies with rose-scented figs

By
From
Arabesque
Serves
6
Photographer
William Meppem

These little raised pies are made from fresh curd cheese, flavoured with honey, orange zest and sherry-soaked currants. They are similar to many Jewish cream-cheese desserts, but not nearly as sweet as you might imagine. Serve them with rose-scented fresh figs, fresh white peaches in caramel, mixed summer berries, or simply a drizzle of maple syrup.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
225g fresh curd cheese
2 tablespoons currants, soaked for 10 minutes in 2 tablespoons sherry
4 tablespoons flaked almonds
1 lemon, finely zested
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
4 tablespoons mild honey
30g butter
6 sheets filo pastry
12 fresh ripe figs
6 teaspoons rosewater
200g caster sugar
2kg ice cubes
icing sugar, to dust

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Then, in a large bowl, mix together the cheese, currants and any excess sherry, almonds, zest, cinnamon, egg and 1 tablespoon of honey until they are well blended. Melt the butter.
  2. Lay a sheet of filo on your work surface and brush it with melted butter and fold. Repeat the folding and brushing twice more. Place a heaped teaspoon of the cheese mixture in the centre of each pastry square. Brush the sides with more butter then gather up the corners and sides over the mixture, and flatten slightly to form a little ball-shaped pie. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling to make a total of 6 pies.
  3. Place the pies on a lightly greased baking sheet, brush them all over with butter and cook them on the top shelf of the oven for 8–10 minutes until golden-brown.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the figs in half and lay them, cut side up, in a flat dish. Sprinkle with the rosewater and sugar. Then pour ice cubes into a deep metal tray and lay the dish of figs on top of them (this ensures the figs don’t cook through). Place the tray under a very hot preheated grill for 1–2 minutes until the figs caramelise.
  5. To serve, remove the pastries from the oven and dust them with a little icing sugar. Serve immediately with the rose-flavoured figs and cream.
Tags:
Middle East
Middle Eastern
Arabic
Arabian
Arabesque
Greg
Lucy
Malouf
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