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Black Mission Fig Terrine with
Israeli Couscous Sauce and
White Pepper-Buttermilk Ice Cream



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Black Mission Fig Terrine with
Israeli Couscous Sauce and
White Pepper-Buttermilk Ice Cream

Charlie Trotter's Desserts
by Charlie Trotter, 1998 Ten Speed Press


“This terrine may look difficult to make, but it is actually quite simple. A little gelatin combined with Port and fig juices creates a wonderful, light binding
agent. After the terrine is sliced, crispy oven-dried figs are adhered to the edges
to add a fascinating textural element, and the creamy sauce, made from Israeli couscous and orange juice, supplies a satisfying earthiness. This light, healthful dessert could also be prepared with apricots, peaches or other fruits.”

Serves 8.

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup Port, warmed
20 fresh Black Mission figs, quartered
5 sheets gelatin
1/4 cup Israeli couscous
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Oven-Dried Fig Chips (recipe follows)
White Pepper-Buttermilk Ice Cream
(recipe follows)

Method - To make the terrine: Cook 3/4 cup of the sugar and 1/4 cup
of the water in a small, heavy-bottomed sauté pan for 5 to 10 minutes, or
until golden brown and caramelized. Add the Port and bring to a boil. Add
the figs and stir until slightly softened. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Strain in a sieve, reserving the figs and juice separately. If there is less than
1/2 cup of juice, add water to bring it up to 1/2 cup.
Soften the gelatin in a shallow pan with enough cold water to cover it.
[Note: Four sheets of sheet gelatin equal one package of granular gelatin.] Warm half of the juice from the figs. Remove the gelatin from the water
and squeeze to remove excess water. Add the gelatin to the warmed fig
juice and stir until completely dissolved. Pour the mixture over the figs
and let them soak for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Lightly oil a 2 1/2-inch-wise by 1 1/2-inch-high by 8-inch-long terrine
mold and line with plastic wrap. Layer the figs in the mold, applying
some pressure to pack them down. Cover with plastic wrap and refri-
gerate for at least 1 hour.
To make the fig sauce: Pour the remaining reserved fig juice into a
small saucepan and warm. Reduce to thicken to a coating consistency,
if necessary.
To make the couscous sauce: Bring the couscous, the remaining 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons sugar, and the orange juice to a boil. Simmer
for 20 minutes, or until the couscous is tender. Add additional water to
thin to a sauce consistency, if necessary.

Assembly - Cut into 1/2-inch slices and remove the plastic wrap from the slices. Spoon some of the fig sauce in the center of each plate and top with
a slice of the terrine. Gently press the Oven-Dried Fig Chips around the
edges of the terrine, overlapping them slightly. Spoon the Israeli Couscous
Sauce around the place and place a quenelle of White Pepper-Buttermilk
Ice Cream on the sauce.

Oven-Dried Fig Chips

6 fresh Black Mission figs
1 tablespoon sugar

Method - Cut the figs in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into
1/8-inch-thick or smaller slices/ Lay the slices on a Silpat-lined or non-
stick sheet pan and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake at 225 degrees F for
30 minutes, or until dry. Remove the chips to a countertop or other flat
surface to cool.

White Pepper-Buttermilk Ice Cream
Yield: approximately 1 quart

2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon white peppercorns, toasted
2 teaspoons orange zest
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Method - Bring the cream, white peppercorns and orange zest to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Prepare an ice
water bath. Return the cream mixture to the heat and bring to a boil.
Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar and slowly pour in some of the
hot cream to temper the eggs. Pour the eggs into the cream and continue
to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon
and steam rises from the top. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and cool
in the ice water bath, stirring occasionally, until chilled. Add the butter-
milk and freeze in an ice cream machine. Keep frozen until ready to use.

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