Old masters: autumn inspired desserts


Looking at my recent posts, there is a barrage of autumn inspiration, all savoury. Now it's time for the sweet stuff! The colors, shapes and textures of autumn fruits are a constant source of inspiration. After the beautifully sweet stone fruits of summer, the crunchy but smooth textured fig with its sweet earthiness is so refreshing. As is the grainy, blushing quince and the crisp bite of a juicy tannic grape. I am always torn whether or not to paint these beautiful fruits, in the style of the old Dutch masters with all of their renaissance, still life realism - or simply devour them direct from the market basket. If, like me, you adore autumn fruits, here are two lovely dessert recipes to celebrate the start of the season. Perhaps they could even take a starring role as a part of your Easter feast!



Fig and grape fritters with creme de Brie

These fluffy fritters are a lovely way to finish a meal. You can serve them with a dollop of creme de Brie for an extra indulgence and play between the sweetness of the fritter and the saltiness of the cheese, or you can simply omit the brie and dust them with a mixture of cinnamon and a little powdered sugar.



3 tbs caster sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla seed paste

100g seedless red grapes, thinly sliced

50g fresh figs, thinly sliced

1/3 cup self raising flour

Butter for cooking


1. Whisk egg yolks with sugar and vanilla until creamy.

2. Add the thinly sliced figs and grapes, mix well.

3. Sift in the flour.

4. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form.

5. Gently fold the egg whites through the grape and fig mixture.

6. Melt butter in a frying pan and add a few heaped tablespoons of the grape and fig batter. Cook fritters until bubbles form on one side and then flip carefully.

7. Repeat to use up all the batter. Place fritters on absorbent paper and keep warm until serving with dollops of creme de Brie or cinammon sugar.



Steamed quince pudding with spiced syrup & fresh figs

This is a hearty and warming, traditional style pudding has a lovely pink blush from the slow cooked quince. It is wonderful served with fresh figs that have been soaked along side the pudding, in the heady spice syrup.



800g quinces, peeled, cored & chopped roughly

1 cup water

1 tbs brown sugar

Zest of 1 orange (reserve orange)

100g butter

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1& 1/2 cups self raising flour

2 eggs

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 cup milk

Orange syrup

Juice of the reserved orange

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 cup water

1 tsp ground cardamon

2 cinnamon sticks



1. Grease your pudding basin. Place quince in a large saucepan with water, brown sugar and orange zest. Cook, covered, on a low heat until the quince is soft - about 30 mins. Allow to cool.

2. Cream butter and caster sugar. Then, beat in eggs one at a time.

3. Sift in flour, baking soda, ginger and mixed spice. Mix until smooth.

4. Stir in milk and the cooled quince with about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

5. Add the mixture to a pudding basin and seal with foil, baking parchment & string.

6. Place the basin in a very large saucepan or stock pot. Fill with enough boiling water to come up to the side of the basin. Boil for 1 & 1/2 hours. Allow to stand for about 15 mins in basin before removing.

7. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Add the juice of the orange and all other ingredients to a saucepan. Do not boil, but allow sugar to dissolve. Simmer for about 10-15 mins or until thickened. Remove the cinnamon sticks and pour over pudding and fresh figs. Reserve a little of the syrup to serve over individual pieces of pudding with generous dollops of whipped cream and the syrup soaked figs.




  1. Oh congratulations - these are simply beautiful recipes. My figs are all gone, but I've still got quinces so I can't wait to give the pudding a go.

    1. Thanks for your lovely words Amanda, I hope the pudding is a success!

  2. I adore quinces! Your pudding looks divine. I am patiently waiting for my sister in law's quince tree to start bearing fruit so we can share :)

    1. Thanks Kate, I hope you can get your hands on those quinces soon!

  3. Beautiful, as always, Mrs M. Happy Easter.

    1. Thanks so much Lizzy, a big happy Easter to you too!

  4. Good morning

    I am really inspired by this post. In two weeks time our Queen will re open the Rijksmuseum afters years of renovation. Shall I suggest her your dishes.

    Well done and happy Easter Kalo Pascha

    Gereon from Amsterdam

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely words. I have heard so much about the Rijksmuseum - I really hope to get there one day soon! A very happy Easter to you too!! ; )

  5. Happy Easter!

    What a delicious homey Autumn dessert. I love the use of all the retro popular ingredients, figs are my absolutely favourite at the moment... thanks for sharing :)


Thank you for your comments, I really appreciate every single one!

© Mulberry and Pomegranate
Maira Gall