Christine McFadden Cookery and Food Writing
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Christine McFadden with students
Barbecued Lobster with
New Potatoes, Watercress
and Chives
Blackberries with Sweet
Spiced Ricotta
Candied Seville Orange
Peel in Syrup
Celeriac Steaks with
Mushrooms, Parmesan and
Sizzled Sage
Celery and Barley Soup
with Seeds
Coconut Flour Pancakes
with Lime
Deep-Fried Egg
Easy Curry
Fennel, Orange, Olive
and Red Onion Salad
Globe Artichokes
Glorious Green Stir-Fry
Gooseberries with Orange
and Bay Syrup
Goose Egg Frittata with
Potato, Onions and
Piquillo Peppers
Greengage and
Cobnut Crumble
Guinea Fowl with Peppercorn
and Kaffir Lime Leaf Butter
Japonica Jelly
Korean Roasted Roots
Medlar and Ginger Creams
Medlar and Rosemary Jelly
Meringue Roulade with Strawberry, Cucumber
and Mint Filling
Mexican-Style Cabbage Soup with Pork and Beans
Moroccan Goat Tagine with
Apricots and Almonds
Oxtail, Celeriac and Carrots
Pan de Higo
(Spanish Fig Bread)
Pan-Fried Cauliflower with
Lovage Crumbs and Lemon
Parsnip and Ginger Cupcakes with Tangerine Drizzle
Pasta Con Le Sarde
Peach and Almond Ricotta
Peaches in Strawberry-Rose Syrup
Pear and Chestnut Tart with
Rosemary and Orange Syrup
Quince Compôte
Quince and Ginger Sorbet
Rabbit with Potatoes,
Peppers and Lemon
Roasted Parsnip and
Cumin Soup
Roasted Squash and
Chilli Soup
Roasted Swede, Ginger and
Spiced Black Bean Soup
Rosemary Sorbet
Rhubarb and Angelica Sorbet
Rhubarb Tart with Star Anise
and Orange
Salted Sevilles with Star Anise, Coriander and Chilli
Sea Bass Parcels
with Fennel and
Preserved Lemon
Sea Buckthorn, Apple
and Ginger Cake
Seville Orange Ice Cream
Sicilian Sesame Bread
Spiced Medlar Tart with
Walnut Pastry
Spiced Poached Pears,
Walnuts and Sheep’s Cheese
Spiced Roast Quince with
Honey and Clotted Cream
Spring Lamb and Barley Pie
with Lemon, Rosemary
and Mint
Strawberry and
Black Pepper Ice-Cream
Strawberry Compôte with
Tarragon and Orange Zest
Steak and Kidney Pie
Sweet Pepper Tarte Tatin
with Black Pepper Caramel
Turkey Egg Frittata with
Roasted Red Peppers
Two-Cherry Yogurt Ice
Venison Vindaloo
Warm Duck Breasts with Peppery Leaves, Radishes and Walnuts
Warm Salad of Partridge,
Pears and Walnuts
Watercress and
Mushroom Pâté
Recipes Dorset Foodie figs Spanish ingredients South West
Fig bread Spanish recipe Dorset Foodie South West
Learn new recipe fig bread Dorset Foodie South West

Pan de Higo (Spanish Fig Bread)

This isn't actually bread, but more of a gorgeous dense paste of dried figs, nuts and spices, pressed into a log for slicing. It's easy to make, needs no baking, but you do need to allow 2–3 days for drying. Once dried it will keep for 3-4 weeks in an airtight container.
Serve it thinly sliced with olives, a dribble of honey perhaps, and Manchego or a hard sheep cheese such as Ford Farm Crofter.
This version of Pan de Higo is adapted from a recipe given to me by Dorset's baking diva, Lizzie Crow aka The Baking Bird.
Serves 10–12, thinly sliced

soft dried figs 500g (see Cook's notes below)
aniseed or fennel seeds ½ tsp
black peppercorns ½ tsp
skinless almonds (preferably Marcona) 150g
skinless hazelnuts 150g
sugar ½ tsp
lemon finely grated zest of ½
ground cinnamon ½ tsp
ground cloves ¼ tsp
plain chocolate (preferably 85% cocoa solids) 30g, melted
brandy or oloroso sherry 2 tbsp

1) Snip the hard stems off the figs, then cut the figs in half (see Cook's notes below).

2) Using a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the aniseeds and peppercorns to release their essential oils.

3) Put the almonds and hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until coarsely chopped.

4) Add the halved figs, sugar, lemon zest and all the spices. Whiz for 2-3 minutes until you have a well combined paste. (You will probably need to break up the paste now and then.)

5) Pour in the melted chocolate and the brandy. Give it a final whiz to mix.

6) Scrape the paste onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Mould it into a long log, about 6cm diameter. Slice in half crossways to make two shorter logs.

7) Tightly wrap each log in a piece of baking parchment, twisted at the ends to close. Put in a suitable container (a square cake tin, or plastic box) and top with a plate weighed down with food cans or other heavy objects. Leave to dry in a cool airy place for two or three days.

8) Serve in thin slices with cheese, olives and a glass of sherry.

Cook's notes
• You will need ready-to-eat or no-soak soft dried figs, rather than the hard
type that need soaking.
• If you value your food processor, be sure to cut the figs in half, otherwise
you risk over-working the motor.


Recipe © Christine McFadden, December 2021

    Photography: Christine McFadden    
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