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figs in a purple bowl, oil on a second hand canvas, Ann Oliver (not for sale) if you would like to see more of Ann’s art please click here

Ann’s fig and pepper bread
Makes one small loaf

100g Willabrand dried figs
50ml fortified wine, sherry or port
Dessertspoon butter, melted
Tablespoon flour
100g egg white, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
2 pinches Maldon sea salt
10 whole black peppercorns, lightly crushed
20 whole juniper berries, lightly crushed
2 whole cloves, powdered
½ vanilla bean, scraped seeds only
120g plain flour
50g pistachio or hazelnuts

Pre heat oven to 165°C
Roll the figs through the wine and allow to stand for an hour. Butter and flour a loaf tin. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites at high speed until they are very stiff and sliding around the edge of the bowl. Add the sugar a little at a time until completely incorporated, then add the salt, spices, vanilla and flour. Fold the figs and nuts in by hand and spread them evenly in the prepared tin. Bake until golden and loose from the form; 20 — 30 minutes.

Serve fresh with cheese, especially soft cheese.