FIGS WITH YOGHURT HONEY AND ROASTED BARLEY CRUMBLE
400ml thick Greek yoghurt 6 perfectly ripe figs 2-3tbsp runny honey and honeycomb
Few thyme sprigs (optional) For the barley crumble: 100g plain flour
Pinch of fine salt
100g butter, cubed and chilled
75g golden caster sugar 75g barley flakes
1. First, make the barley crumble. Heat the oven to 1750C/ 3350F/gas mark 5½. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix and rub the ingredients thoroughly together until you have formed clumps and lumps.
2. Line a large baking tray with a piece of baking parchment. Tip out the mixture onto the tray and distribute evenly. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, turning the crumble over three or four times during baking, until it is evenly golden all over. Remove from the oven.
3. To construct the dish, spoon the yoghurt out onto a large serving plate or platter and spread it evenly over the base. Halve the figs, or quarter them if they are large, and scatter the pieces over the yoghurt. Cut the honeycomb up into small sticky bits and distribute this, along with the runny honey, in, around and over the figs.
4. Scatter over a few generous handfuls of the barley crumble, and finish off with a little shake of leaves from the thyme sprig, if using. LAST night I had on more layers than a cake in a British Bake Off Showstopper Challenge. It was the first proper chilly night in our household this autumn and slippers, jim jams, two jumpers and a blanket didn’t quite take the edge off the cold. I was making notes about a glass of red wine (it’s how I rock and roll) and pondering what to write about this week. When it struck me.
I was snuggling up – I was holding a glass of red wine, it made me feel better – and so my friends, here’s three autumnfriendly reds to warm your toes.
My light switch moment red came with
(£11.99, Virgin Wines, 13.5% abv). It is created in Romania by producers Cramele Recas and is the inspiration of Aussie wine WITH maker Hartley Smithers. It’s a deep red, verging on the colour purple yet is not quite full-bodied as I can slightly see my fingers through the glass. It oozes aromas of vanilla and liquorice, blackcurrants and black cherry. To taste, a good sprinkling of spice flashes in and out of dark fruit flavours and a veil of vanilla. There’s a decent acidity which freshens, the tannins are integrated and the lasting effect is one of spice.
Hold my hand as we zip off to McLaren Vale in Australia for
(RRP £13.49, Waitrose, Ocado, 14.5% abv) which is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and shiraz. This wine is another compote of warming dark fruits, with confident shouts from plums and damsons. The wine has been aged in a mix of French and American oak, which together bring overtones of vanilla and chocolate; but there is still a lightness of touch with the wave of a woodland breeze.
For my final choice I’m going to take you to Spar.
I tasted (£4.99, 13% abv) at Spar’s seasonal tasting the other week, where many months of work by the Spar