My fig tree is a maverick. No straight and narrow for her. No conforming to the usual fig-tree stereotypes. No, not for her the trappings of traditional fig-tree identity built and reinforced through generations of oppression. She absolutely categorically refuses to produce a single sodding fig.
I’ve no idea why. But there it is. So I am left with only leaves.
Still, fig leaves are not a harvest to be ignored because when used to infuse a liquid they impart the richest, sweetest, most figgy of fig flavours you can imagine. It’s such a heady, fragrant smell and it makes desserts that are both delicious and a little bit eccentric – right up my street.
I saw Jacob Kenedy, of Boca Di Lupo, make this panna cotta with blackcurrant leaves (which is also scrumptious) at Ballymaloe in Ireland once and he mentioned fig leaves as an alternative flavouring. I was intrigued and I like to image that over the water in the Cotswolds, my fig tree caught wind of my plans and quivered in her pot, knowing she wouldn’t escape harvesting this time.
(Incidentally, this is the final dish in my summer feast menu. If you missed the other dishes in previous blogs, this dessert is a perfect follow up to my summer sharing platter starter and herby chicken meatballs main course.)