'The plump figs in Oxford's Covered Market proved irresistable, and I adapted this recipe for the card.' J J Marshall
Figs are not only one of the delights of autumn but are harbingers of Christmas, featuring as they do in the best green-grocer displays amongst the dates, walnuts, quinces and other exotica. Because they are baked, the figs for this recipe need not be fully ripe.
I N G R E D I E N T S (for two people)
4 figs, 150ml water, 1tbsp brown sugar, 2tbsp runny honey, piece of cinnamon stick, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 2tbsp balsamic vinegar. Serve with vanilla ice cream, crème fraiche or mascarpone.
Put the water, sugar and honey into a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cinnamon, lemon zest, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Boil rapidly until the liquid is reduced to about half and is more like a syrup. Put the figs into a shallow baking dish and pour the syrup over them. Roast at 150 degrees C (300F, gas mark 2) for 30 minutes and baste regularly. Remove the figs from the oven and allow to cool (but not go cold). Serve whilst still warm with the ice cream, crème fraiche or mascarpone and enjoy their plump sumptuousness, leaving just their stalk on the plate.