Fried Christmas Cake with Strawberry Parfait and Lavender Honey Marinated Figs

Fruit cake is transformed from traditional to decadent when Peter Gordon's do-ahead accompaniments are lavished on top
By Peter Gordon
Fried Christmas Cake with Strawberry Parfait and Lavender Honey Marinated Figs
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the figs

  • 600 g dried figs
  • 700 ml apple juice
  • 150 ml lavender honey
  • 50 g demerara sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split

For the strawberry parfait

  • 500 g caster sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 500 ml double cream

To serve

  • 6-8 slices un-iced Christmas cakes, 1.5cm thick
  • 120 g butter, at room temperature

Tips and Suggestions

Frozen parfait is cheaper and easier to make than ice cream, and doesn't require an ice cream machine. A sugar thermometer is handy for making it, though. The recipe here makes enough for 10-15 people, but to make any less is almost harder. Eat it within 10 days of making.


1. Cover the dried figs with boiling water and leave to sit for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place the apple juice, honey, demerara sugar and vanilla pod into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Drain the figs and add to the saucepan, then slowly return to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then leave to cool. Once the figs have cooled, cover and place in the refrigerator for up to a week.

3. To make the parfait, place the sugar and 200ml water in a saucepan. Heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved then raise the heat so that the syrup simmers and cook until it reads 121C on a sugar thermometer. When it's just below that (at 120C), start beating the egg whites in a large heatproof bowl with an electric beater. When the sugar syrup is ready, slowly pour it into the egg whites, beating as you go, then continue to whisk until the mixture has cooled completely.

4. Fold the fruit purée, then the cream, into the meringue. Place the mixture in a freezer-suitable container, cover and freeze.

5. Shortly before serving, heat up a heavy-based frying pan. Butter one side of the cake slices and put the remaining butter into the pan. When it begins to sizzle place the cake slices in, buttered side facing up, and fry over a moderate heat until the cake and fruit begin to colour. Carefully flip over and cook on the other side. Meanwhile, gently heat up 2-3 figs per portion in their juice.

6. To serve, place a slice of warm cake on each plate. Put two scoops of parfait on top and tuck the figs in, then drizzle with the juices.

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