The season of Figs draws inspiration for creativity

I can't remember the last time I consumed as many Figs as I have this year. In fact, the last time they were in my possession was as a child when we would pick them off the neighbors tree and eat them green and raw, stomach aches not included. This year I rediscovered and fell in love with them again. Come to think of it, I don't recall a lot of them available in the stores in years past. There must have been a bumper crop in 2010.

Figs are considered an exotic fruit in my book and therefore calls for creativity in coming up with new recipes. Previous recipes on this blog included using them in a wine reduction sauce with either lamb or beef. This time however, it is time to get my inspiration from the classification of the fruit itself and therefore have come up with a dessert. Surprisingly, combining custard and Figs has created a very pleasant and delightful dish, light and refreshing, and not loaded with heavy sweetness, a dessert that will have you and your guests coming back for more. As you will see, this dessert is a bit of  a take on Trifle but on a smaller and less complicated combination of flavors. As always, you will see that some of the ingredients accent my taste in particular flavors. Here's what you'll need:

1 dozen large Figs, ripened
1 packet of custard mix (if you're energetic, you can make yours from scratch)
1/2 cup of coconut cream
1/2 cup of whole milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of fine granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 oz. of Grand Marnier
8 small croissants, toasted (the 3 inch size)

Start by setting 3 of the Figs aside for later use. With the remainder, cut stems off and cut in halves. Add them to a small pot along with the sugar and 1 oz of the Grand Marnier. Heat over medium heat and bring to a light boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to low and continue to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cut each of the croissants in half lengthwise and toast until crisp. Set them aside. If you can find the small variety of croissants (found in most any supermarket), use 3 regular size croissants and slice them width wise about 1/2 inch thick for each slice. Toast them as you would with the small ones. Set aside to cool and harden.

To a pot, add the custard packet, the vanilla extract, the coconut cream, and the milk.Stir until powder is dissolved. Add the egg yolk and blend into custard mixture thoroughly.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly. Once brought to a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to stir for an addition 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk for about 7 minutes so custard cools a bit without creating a "skin" on the surface.

Now you have all the parts to your dessert and it's time to assemble. Start with a glass bowl that's approximately 6 inches in diameter and about 6 inches deep. Add a spoonful of custard to the bottom to coat. Next, add a layer of croissants and sprinkle them with a bit of the Grand Marnier. Slice them to fit if necessary. Now add a layer of the cooked Figs and top them with enough custard to cover them. Now start over again with a layer of croissants, sprinkles of Grand Marnier  and so on and so forth until you have used your ingredients.

The final step is to take the Figs you set aside and cut them in halves and place them cut side down on the top as the picture illustrates. Transfer to the fridge and allow to cool for at least 2 hours, longer is preferred, so that the custard will set nicely. Serve chilled with a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes if you desire. Enjoy this along with 4 of your friends, as this will serve 5 easily.


  1. What a great idea and flavor combinations with the figs and creating a trifle-like dessert with them. Like the use of croissants and Grand Marnier.

  2. so colorful what a decadent dessert and with crossiants? Can;t go wrong!

  3. Figs are just sexy, love them. Bought 4 containers myself last weekend and got a recipe coming soon too. This one looks decadent.

  4. A veru delicious dessert, you are very creative!

  5. I love figs and this looks delicious! Great job :) And Joey? Too cute!!

  6. It really looks delicious Nick! I only taste fresh and dried figs a couple of years ago, they are exotic to me too. I have fallen in love with them both fresh and dried. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Figs are such a rarity where I am. I can never get hold of them and subsequently am very jealous of this!

  8. I use figs in salads and with roasts. My grandfather had a fig tree in Queens, NYC (alas long gone).In MN - it is so hard to come by these delectables and they are now apeairng regularly.

  9. That is a delicious trifle! I love the versatility of the dessert and how gorgeous and elegant you made it look. Thanks for passing the idea along.