150 gmpistachio kernelsFor deep-frying:rice bran oil8perfectly ripe green figsTo serve:crème fraîcheAtaif batter5 gmdried yeast1 tspcaster sugar200 gmplain flour, sievedOrange-blossom syrup500 gmcaster sugarJuiceand peeled rind of ½ a lemon1cinnamon quill1 tbsporange-blossom water
For ataif batter, combine yeast, sugar and 100ml warm water in a bowl and stand in a warm place until foamy (4-5 minutes). Add flour and 250ml warm water, stir until smooth and stand in a warm place until you are ready to fry (10-15 minutes).
For orange-blossom syrup, combine sugar, lemon juice and rind, cinnamon and 300ml water in a saucepan, stir over high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, simmer until slightly thickened (8-10 minutes). Add orange-blossom water and cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Scatter pistachios on an oven tray, roast until light golden (3-5 minutes), cool, then coarsely chop.
Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided saucepan to 175C. Dip figs one at a time in batter and deep-fry until golden and crisp (1-2 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and dip them into the syrup, making sure they get a good drenching, then scatter with pistachios and serve with a good dollop of crème fraîche and extra syrup to the side.
This recipe is from the February 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.