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Iced Terrine of Fig and Ginger (Nougat Glacé aux Figues et Gingembre)

The frozen terrine may be served as is but looks beautiful garnished with fresh berries, orange slices, or fresh figs or cherries.

Ingredients:

  • 7 Tbs. superfine sugar
  • 5 Tbs. water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 plump, moist dried figs, each cut into
      3 or 4 pieces
  • 2 Tbs. candied ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. each candied orange
     peel and candied lemon peel
  • 6 candied red cherries, halved
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, whipped
  • 2 Tbs. kirsch

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil without stirring until the mixture reaches 240°F, the soft-ball stage, on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the egg yolks with a handheld electric mixer. When the sugar mixture is ready, pour it onto the eggs in a slow stream while beating constantly. Beat until the mixture has cooled and has doubled in volume. Fold in the figs, ginger, citrus peels, cherries, pistachios, cinnamon and cardamom. Carefully fold in the whipped cream, then fold in the kirsch.

Pour the mixture into a 4-cup rectangular ceramic terrine or loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours or up to 4 days. Run a knife blade around the sides of the mold and invert the mold onto a plate. Soak a kitchen towel with hot water, wring out, place on the bottom of the mold to release the nougat, and lift off the mold. Return to the freezer to refirm. Cut into slices 1/2 inch thick and serve.
Serves 8 to 10.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Provence, by Diane Holuigue (Time-Life Books, 2002).