Since then I have had my own Macadamia and fig trees, which are loved by the sun birds when in bloom, and native bee’s making a home in my back fence. My kids have enjoyed the same delight as I did when collecting nuts and cracking them open. The macadamia nut possesses a very hard shell, it takes some good judgement to reveal the treat within. We would find a nook in the garden path so the nut wouldn’t roll away as we took aim with a rock to spilt the shell (we had to be careful not to squash it though).
This decadent dessert features some rather nostalgic ingredients of mine. A combination of Macadamias, Figs and Honey always remind me of Holidays spent at my grandparent’s place, going on adventures with my siblings and finding these treats to snack on.
Handy Hints and Tips:
Minimum 16 hours preparation time – straining yogurt / cooling / setting
You are creating a Middle Eastern style cheese called Labneh when you strain yogurt. 24 hours is the optimum amount of time to strain for to attain a dense and creamy consistency.
Use the Whey left from straining in smoothies, as stock or a baking ingredient.
The cooked flan needs cooling and fridge time allow 4 hours or overnight for best results.
The addition of egg yolks creates a smooth custard. Do not discard the egg whites, freeze for another recipe that requires egg white or use to make a lean omelette.
Serves 8 – 10
Ingredients and Method:
12 Dried Figs sliced
1 ½ cups Natural Macadamias
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Honey
½ cup Almond Meal
½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 kg Greek Yogurt
½ cup Honey
1 scrapped Vanilla Bean
2 Whole Eggs
2 Egg Yolks well beaten
4 or 5 Fresh Figs
1 cup Natural Macadamias
2 tablespoons Honey
1 teaspoon Butter
1 pinch Salt Flakes
To drain the yogurt line a colander with muslin or a clean chux. Place the yogurt in the lined colander, pop the colander in a bowl or dish in the fridge. Keep an eye on the dish to ensure it does not overflow as the yogurt drains. Leave for 12 to 24 hours.
Grease the base and sides of a 21/23cm loosebase flan tin with butter to prevent sticking.
For the base of the tart whiz the sliced figs, almond meal, cinnamon and butter in food processor to an even consistency, it should seem a little crumbly. Add whole macadamias and honey pulse to breakup nuts and combine. The smoothness of the first ingredients will help hold the chunkiness of the nuts, press gently into your flan tin, it should feel a little loose and crumbly, this allows the nuts to toast nicely. Cook in middle of oven for 10 minutes at 150 degrees it will smell beautiful as it starts to toast. Remove from oven, cool on a wire rack then give the base and sides a gently press with your hand fingers to make the base a little denser. Cool completely.
Remove yogurt from fridge place in a mixing bowl with honey, eggs and vanilla, gently and thoroughly whisk to combine. Taste test the filling, both honey and yogurt can vary in sweetness and sharpness. Adjust honey accordingly. I used ironbark honey, harvested locally in Townsville. Yogurt can vary in the sharpness of taste too.
Pour the filling into the springform pan, level the top and bake in the oven at 160 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, the cake should still be a little wobbly in the middle.
Cool the flan in its tin on a wire rack.
Once at room temperature, place in fridge to cool completely and set.
Meanwhile heat a little honey and butter in a small fry pan till it is bubbling, add the macadamias stir to coat, cook for 3 minutes to toast nuts and caramelise. Remove from heat allow to cool a little, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
To serve, slice the fresh figs into quarters and pile on top of the cold flan, drizzle with a honey and scatter with caramel macadamias.
this is a fabulous desert to cook the day before and let rest over night to allow the flavours to develop.