Fig Leaf and Vanilla Creme Brulee by Graham Hornigold

If, like me, you’re lucky enough to have a fig tree in your garden- you’ll know the frustration of seeing the fig tree come to life every summer- yet it is seldom warm enough in England to ripen the fruit. However, despair not- the leaves are equally as tasty and delicious! The flavour is almost a cross between fig and coconut, an unusual pairing but one that works so well in this brûlée. Best eaten simply, with caramelised sugar and served with fresh juicy figs.


  • 6 fig leaves, washed and dried
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod


  1. Preheat the oven to 100 deg C.
  2. Place the fig leaves on a baking tray and bake for approximately 20-25minutes or until fragrant and dry.
  3. In a saucepan, bring the cream and vanilla to the boil. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add the dried fig leaves and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.
  5. Once infused, strain through a fine sieve. Rescale the cream to 500ml if necessary, as the leaves will have soaked up some of the liquid.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the whole egg, yolks and sugar.
  7. Pour the liquid over and whisk to combine.
  8. Pour the brûlée mixture into ramekins and place the dishes into a deep baking tray.
  9. Pour boiling water halfway up the sides and carefully place into the oven.
  10. Bake at 140deg C until just set- the brûlée should be jiggly in the centre.
  11. Remove from the tray and allow to cool before pacing in the refrigerator to set completely.
  12. When ready to serve, sprinkle a thin layer or sugar over the brûlées and caramelise with a hot grill or blow torch!