Saffron and pistachio ice cream, baklava and fig fritters

Crunchy, sticky baklava meets cool pistachio ice cream and hot fig fritters. We'd settle for any one of this trio of desserts.


For the ice cream
For the baklava
For the baklava syrup
For the spun sugar
For the fig fritters
To garnish

Preparation method

  1. For the ice cream, combine the milk, saffron, cardamom and rosewater in a saucepan and bring to the boil. When the mixture has just boiled remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.

  2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and thickened.

  3. Stir in a third of the warm milk mixture until well combined. Then stir in the remainder of the milk.

  4. Return to the pan and place over a low heat stirring continuously until thickened, it should coat the back of the spoon.

  5. Cool for five minutes then stir in the double cream and pistachios.

  6. Chill in the fridge, then strain and churn in an ice cream machine for 30 minutes. Place the ice cream in the freezer to firm up.

  7. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  8. For the baklava, blend the nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor into small pieces. Add the rosewater, the lime zest and juice and mix until well combined.

  9. Cut the sheets of filo pastry into three even strips and brush each with melted butter.

  10. Layering two strips of filo together, spoon some of the nut mixture onto one end.

  11. Roll up tightly to form a cigar shape and repeat with the remaining six pairs of filo strips.

  12. Place onto a greased oven tray and brush the tops with butter.

  13. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

  14. For the baklava syrup, combine the sugar with 125ml/4fl oz water and the cinnamon stick in a pan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil.

  15. Add the lime zest and rosewater and boil for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the lime juice and leave to cool slightly.

  16. Place the baklava in a baking tray and pour over the syrup. Serve with a dusting of cinnamon and nuts.

  17. For the spun sugar, place the sugar and 225ml/8fl oz of water into a pan on a medium heat and, without stirring, let the sugar dissolve. Bring to the boil and cook the syrup until it reaches 155C/310F (use a sugar thermometer to check). This is known as hard crack stage.

  18. Immediately remove from the heat and plunge the bottom of the pan into cold water to stop the sugar cooking further.

  19. Using a fork, dip it into the caramel and flick the fork back and forth over a rolling pin to create long hair like strands. You may want to put newspaper down as it gets quite sticky.

  20. Gather up the sugar and mould into desired shape.

  21. Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180C/350F.

  22. For the fig fritters, whisk the flours, sugar, salt, egg and iced water together to form a smooth batter.

  23. Dip the fig segments into the batter to coat and immediately place into the deep fat fryer until golden and crisp.

  24. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain onto kitchen paper.

  25. To serve, place a small spoonful of finely chopped mixed nuts on one side of the serving plate, and top with two fig fritters. Slice the ends of baklava at an angle and place on the plate drizzled with the syrup. Spoon a little of the ground pistachios onto the other side of the plate, and top with a quenelle of ice cream. Garnish with spun sugar.

Over 2 hours preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 6

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This recipe is from...

MasterChef Episode 2 bbc_one MasterChef

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