Fig and Ricotta Phyllo Parcels


1 container ricotta(about 250g), drained
½ cup castor sugar
2 vanilla pods
2 star anise
½ cup water
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
200g dried figs, cut into 6ths
100g dried dates, sliced
Zest of ½ orange
70g walnuts, chopped
8 to 10 sheets of phyllo pastry
3 oranges, segmented
For the walnut crumble:
¾ cup castor sugar
¼ cup butter
2T glucose
2T water
¾ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1t salt
½ t baking soda


Heat the sugar, vanilla pod and seeds, star anise, water and juice till the sugar dissolves then bring to boil until mixture starts to turn golden and turns syrupy, then pour half the syrup off for later use
Add the figs, dates and zest and simmer to the rest of the syrup and continue simmering until the liquid absorbed
Discard the pods and star anise and stir in the walnuts
Let cool down.
Start with the crumble by combining the sugar, butter, glucose, and water in a medium sauce pan on low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to boil over medium heat and stir in the nuts and cook till light caramel, stirring to avoid burning
Add salt and baking soda and cook for another minute
Pour onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with baking paper en let cool

Now get going on your phyllo parcels by melting the butter and brushing onto 1 sheet of pastry, fold in half and brush again with butter, fold in half again
On the centre spoon over equal amounts of ricotta cheese and the fig mixture(about 1.5 T each)
Fold the sides up and squeeze together at the top
Bake at 190C for 12 to 15 minutes
The Walnut crumbles should be hard, use a knife to finely chop into crumbs or pulse in a food processor
To serve, sprinkle crumble on a plate, arrange orange segments over, drizzle some of the leftover syrup on plate and place parcel on plate.
Can be eaten luke warm or cold
Makes 8 to 10 parcels