I had an overwhelming urge to bake friands this weekend. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it was a sharpness to the air that brought premonitions of Autumn and the desire to retreat to the kitchen. It could have just been that I’ve accumulated an abundance of delicious coffee at home, that I love to drink with a little treat. I don’t know. What is peculiar, is that when I went back to check the recipe on my blog, it’s just the right quantity for my tiny silicone moulds, it wasn’t just roughly a year ago as I’d guessed, but literally a year to the date that I’d blogged them. Spooky.
Last year I appeared to be looking back, creating a recipe to capture the very essence of summer with my Kammerlings macerated strawberry and basil friands. But this time I feel ready to embrace the beginning of a new season; long, dark nights, cosy jumpers, bonfires, long scarves and stompy boots.
I get very excited by fig season, it always heralds the end of summer for me, and so these needed to feature, I really had the urge to pair them with the warmth of cardamom and gorgeous vibrant pistachio nuttiness. I enhanced the ‘warmth’ of these by using wholemeal spelt flour and Billingtons golden icing sugar that seemed to give them a little more gravity and richness. They worked, even if I do say so myself, light and dainty, autumnal, moist and not too sweet with a delicate centre of fig. They make the absolute best accompaniament to a warm cup of coffee on a fresh morning.
This recipe yields the perfect amount for my miniature 16 friand mould, I’d treble it for regular sized ones. I have a habit of always using salted butter, but if using unsalted, add a pinch of salt to the recipe.
Fig, Pistachio and Cardamom Friands
60g butter melted
2 egg whites
25g ground pistachios
15g ground almonds
75g golden icing sugar
25g wholegrain spelt flour
seeds from 3 cardamom pods, ground
For the compote
2 ripe figs, chopped into small pieces
knob of butter
spoonful of sugar
Make the compote first by warming butter in a small saucepan, then add the figs and sugar. Cook slowly over a low heat until the figs start to break down and you get a saucy mush.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, placing a baking tray on the middle shelf, brush a friand, small cupcake or fairy cake tray with melted butter.
Whisk egg whites till thick, then stir in the icing sugar, ground pistachios and almonds, flour, cardamom and finally butter, combining until smooth and everything is incorporated.
Using a teaspoon, fill the friand moulds just under half way, add a blob of fig compote to the centre, then finish with another layer of your pistachio mixture. Bake for around 10-15 minutes until slightly risen, golden brown and crispy on top.
Allow to cool before removing from moulds.