Also in season in the Cape are blackberries, blueberries and table grapes, so I've combined them with figs to make this mysterious-looking black (well, mostly black) fruit salad. The first time I made it (and photographed it) I left it undressed; the second time, I tossed it with a little lemon juice and icing sugar, which gave the fruit a lovely zingy gloss.
Mix the brown sugar with the cream just before you serve the salad, so it stays thick and retains a crunch: if you make it in advance the sugar will dissolve and liquefy the cream. Chill all the fruit before you make the salad.
Black Fruit Salad with Brown-Sugar Crème Fraîche
1 big bunch sweet black grapes, halved and deseeded
1 cup (250 ml) blackberries
1 cup (250 ml)blueberries
4 purple figs, quartered
1 Tbsp (15 ml) icing sugar
the juice of half a lemon
1 cup (250 ml) crème fraîche or mascarpone
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar
Combine the fruit in a bowl and stir in the icing sugar and lemon juice. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes. Just before you serve the salad, mix together the crème fraîche, vanilla and brown sugar. Divide the salad into four bowls and place a dollop of crème fraîche over each portion.
Note: the redcurrants adorning this salad come straight from my deep freezer: they're locally grown redcurrants, which you can read about here.