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The happiness only a fig something something

First: fresh!

First: fresh!

It takes a lot of figs to persuade me to bake with them. Figs are like the perfect fruit. They taste amazing, they’re beautiful, you can have them sweet (raisin toast and ricotta) or savoury (with rocket, blue cheese and balsamic on flatbread), and I can eat them until I run out of daylight. But sometimes I’ve got to be practical and admit that I can’t spend my whole day eating figs: for a start, I’d lose my job. Second of all, I’d probably need to get some protein in there somehow. Since figs, like the gypsy, wait for nobody, and since I’d already lost one bucket of figs to mould and decomposition this year (excuse me, I just need a moment to pull myself together…), I thought I’d best do right by the summer bounty.

Second: baked!

Second: baked!

Following a tip-off from a friend of Mumini’s , I filled a baking tray with halved figs and then poured mulled wine over them.

Third: ooooooh look at that.

Third: ooooooh look at that.

The end result — do I even need to tell you this? It’s delicious! It’s rich and lush, sweet and velvety. It’s beautiful cold, with tangy Greek yoghurt, but I’d bet yarn it’s amazing hot with pancakes and/or ice cream.

This is the basic syrup recipe, although I think it lends itself to variation:

½ cup red wine
½ cup orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise (whole)
1 tablespoon honey

Place halved figs, cut side up, in a baking dish — use enough to cover the bottom entirely. Heat all the other ingredients on the stove for about 10 minutes, and then remove whole spices and pour over the figs. Bake at 140°C until the sauce becomes a syrup (about an hour, for me). Baste over the figs occasionally.

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