Christine McFadden Cookery and Food Writing
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Christine McFadden with students
Alternative Pancakes
A Taste of Rabbit
Beyond Carrot Cake
Bountiful Blackberries
Celebrating Celery
Cherries are the Only Fruit
Chuck, Flank and Shank
Cooking With
What You’ve Got
Cool Curries
Delectable Duck
Do I Dare to Eat a Peach?
Drupe Fruit
Excellent Eggs
Feel the Fear and
Cook it Anyway
Give Swede a Chance
Glorious Globes
Glorious Greens
Golden Orbs
Heavenly Herbs
King Cauliflower
Lovely Lovage
Meat of Kings
More Than Marmalade
Of Cabbages and Kings
Partridges and Pears
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Remarkable Medlars
Roasting Chestnuts
Rhubarb Renaissance
Ruffian Roots: Celeriac
Sensational Sea Buckthorn
Sicilian Utopia
Strawberry Fare
The Not-So-Humble Parsnip
Time for Pie
Time to Talk About Eggs
Watercress – a culinary hero
We Won't Go Until
We Get Some
Learn new recipe fig bread Dorset Foodie South West

Christine's blog

This is the place to enjoy Christine's food-related musings – from seasonal food and food producers to cooking tools, food markets and gastro-travel. You'll also find some must-try recipes and invaluable tips and techniques.

We Won't Go Until We Get Some

Though it refers to a demand for figgy pudding, the line from the traditional British carol seems an appropriate title for this month's blog about Pan de Higo (Spanish Fig Bread). I've become rather obsessed with it for several reasons.

Firstly, Dorset-based baking diva Lizzie Crow, aka The Baking Bird, thought I might like to try her recipe. Secondly, I just happened to have a stash of dried figs nearing their use-by date, plus some crunchy hazelnuts and Marcona almonds, this seemed the ideal opportunity for using them up.

Given the amount of unwelcome bugs around, I was also encouraged that Hippocrates recommended figs for fevers, and Roman naturalist Pliny wrote that "Figs are restorative, and the best food that can be taken by those who are brought low by long sickness". Even more reason to give Pan de Higo a try.

Figs rightly mean a lot to the Spanish. There is even a saying, de higos a brevas, alluding to something that happens very infrequently. This probably reflects the fact that the eagerly awaited fresh fig season is brief and unpredictable. Fortunately, Spain has a long tradition of producing excellent dried figs that can be enjoyed year-round. These have been an integral part of Spanish cuisine for centuries and show up in a wide variety of breads, desserts and sweets.

Pan de Higo is a typical festive bread. There are countless recipes that vary from region to region, from village to village, and even from family to family. Though thought of as a dessert or sweetmeat, is actually more savoury than sweet. Serve it thinly sliced with olives or gherkins, a dribble of honey perhaps, and Manchego or a hard sheep cheese such as Ford Farm Crofter.

Lizzie's recipe is simply divine, really easy and makes a very acceptable Christmas gift, so do give it a try. You'll find it on my recipe page.

© Christine McFadden, December 2021


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