The fruit and veggie shops are currently stocking beautiful late summer fresh figs in Sydney. These are one of my favourite fruits due to their versatile nature. They are spectacular on their own, luscious in a salad and dreamy in sweets. Just the smell of these special fruits takes me straight back to vivid memories of past Mediterranean adventures.

This week I am feeling inspired by Middle Eastern culinary flavours. I am really enjoying Yotam Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feasts cooking series on SBS and had a wonderful dinner with friend at Kazbah in Balmain. I am heading to London for holidays in August and am already salivating in anticipation of sitting down to dinner at any of Ottolenghi’s restaurants.

In the meantime… here is my take on these juicy flavours.

Middle Eastern Inspired Muffins
(makes 10)

1/2 cup chopped dried dates
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
4 tablespoons water
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup wholemeal wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup apple puree
2 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 cups plant milk (I used soy)
3 ripe chopped and peeled figs
1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts
oil to grease baking tray
baking paper

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degC.
Heat the chopped dried dates, bicarb soda and water in a small sauspan over a low heat for 5 minutes.
Use a spoon to stir the date mix until it forms a lumpy paste and set aside to cool.
Use a whisk to combine the flours, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
In another bowl combine the apple puree, tahini, cooled date mix and plant milk with a whisk.
Add the copped figs and most of the chopped pistachio nuts to the dry ingredients and poor over with the wet ingredients.
Combine well with a wooden spoon.
Add a small amount of water if the mixture is too dry.
Grease a muffin pan and line 10 of the cups with baking paper.
Spoon the mixture into the baking paper lined cups.
Use the remaining chopped pistachio nuts to sprinkle on the tops of the muffins.
Bake in a moderate oven for 20-25 minutes.
Cool and enjoy!