Just like everyone else I can barely believe we are hurtling towards Christmas and summer has well and truly arrived with temperatures hitting 40°C. Every summer brings endings as well as new beginnings and this year our eldest is just days away from finishing primary school.
With all the emotion wrapped up around old schools and new schools and the weariness that comes at this time of the year it is reassuring to see the predictable signs that always appear in early December.
The gigantic Allium flowers are towering over me in the garden.
The artichoke has flowered and is now starting to collapse in the heat. Each summer this tough plant seems to disappear into the ground before it magically revives again in the cooler months.
Our apricot tree never fails although it has only had minimal care and attention this year. I am certain that the aroma of this warm, fuzzy fruit will stay with me forever.
I have switched over to iced coffee in the mornings and keeping up water to our animals has switched from being important to critical.
Cricket is on the radio which has me searching for other things to listen to. This podcast from Lindsay Cameron Wilson with Maggie Mackellar brought me to tears. Must be those end of year emotions kicking in again!
Every season I say the same thing but I am so excited about the summer issue of Graziher magazine. I also love the addition of the Graziher Christmas e-magazine . If you cannot get your hands on the paper copy, three of my favourite Christmas recipes are in the e-magazine along with so much extra goodness. Enjoy!
On the property where my father in law grew up there is an enormous old fig tree that delivers in abundance each year. I have experimented with figs over the years and the latest test has been with semifreddo. This adaptable recipe makes a creamy, homemade style ice-cream without the need for an ice-cream machine.
- 4-5 fresh figs, halved
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 3/4 cups cream
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks, extra
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 225 g castor sugar
- 1 fresh fig, sliced for the top optional
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a large baking dish with oven proof baking paper. Place the fig halves in the dish and drizzle with honey. Bake for 1 hour or until the figs have softened and started to collapse. Remove figs from the oven and chop into smaller pieces. Set aside.
Beat the cream with a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer until it holds soft peaks. Set cream aside in the refrigerator.
Place eggs, extra yolks, vanilla and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and continually whisk the mixture until it is combined and warmed through. Remove from the heat and beat with a stand mixer or hand held mixer until pale and thick.
Remove the cream from the refrigerator. Gently fold the egg mixture into the cream until just combined. Treat the mixture gently to ensure it remains as airy as possible.
Add the figs and combine gently. Pour the mixture into a 12cm x 22cm loaf tin and top with extra fig slices if using.
Freeze for 4-6 hours or until firm.
So, that is me on this hot, summery Sunday. How about you?
Are you hurtling towards Christmas or taking it leisurely?
Happy Sunday, friends x