Roasted figs and plums with basil whipped cream

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This recipe was originally written for Town & Country UK. You can also find it here.

October is a funny month. I find myself not quite ready to pack away my espadrilles and camisoles but constantly on the hunt for my scarf. It marks the end of summer. School has begun. Soon the very organised among us will be sorting out Christmas presents (heavens!). But there is still rosé in the fridge and if we are lucky the weather can be lovely.

Not quite a summer pudding and not quite a winter crumble I’ve often called this pudding ‘holding onto summer’. Perfect for a weekend lunch or end to a supper party it looks quite spectacular. But it is gorgeously simple and with very little effort at all you have something quite beautiful to bring to the table. 

The basil infused cream is not essential and if you are short of time simply whisking double cream will do just as well. You could add a drop of brandy or cognac too if you liked. Feel free to use more plums or more figs depending on what you have and don’t worry if they are on the soft side. It will only make for more delicious syrupy juice. I like to collect any extra juices and keep them in a small jug to drizzle over the fruit and cream just before serving. If you have more leftover they are delicious stirred into yogurt or porridge too or even used as the base for a cocktail.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  • 8-10 plums

  • 6-8 figs

  • 1-2 tbsp golden caster sugar

  • 200ml double cream

  • Handful of basil leaves

  • 50g almonds and/or hazelnuts

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Arrange your nuts on a clean and dry baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until they have browned slightly and release a nutty smell. Remove, switch off your oven and allow the nuts to cool before roughly chopping them.

  • Place your cream into a small saucepan and tear in your basil leaves. Heat gently on a low heat just until it begins to bubble. Remove and pour into a bowl. Allow to cool at room temperature for half an hour before refrigerating for at least 2 hours.

  • Strain the cream through a sieve to remove the basil leaves and whisk until you have a light but firm texture. Keep chilled till serving.

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees fan setting. Slice your figs and plums and arrange then cut side up on a baking tray. Sprinkle the sugar over the fruit.

  • Roast for 20 minutes until soft and the fruits have released their juices. Allow to cool slightly or completely if you wish.

Alexandra Dudley