As far as I'm concerned, the fig season is all too short, so come autumn I'm always on the lookout. I picked up these beauties from Brick Lane after work on Sunday morning, and at five for a pound they were an absolute steal.
I like to eat them as they are - fresh. But not everyone in the household finds them as palatable this way. So rather than gorge on them all by myself (a tempting thought), I find baking them with some honey and spices and serving them with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts (also in season) a simple way to share the love.
Baked honey-spiced figs
4 knobs of butter
2 tbsps runny honey
1 cinnamon stick + 2 star anise (or a teaspoon of ground cinnamon if you don't have whole spices handy)
Handful of shelled hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F
- Cut a criss-cross in the top of each of the figs to about about halfway down the fruit, and open them up slightly.
- Arrange the figs snugly in a small baking dish, and add a knob of butter to each.
- Nestle in the whole spices (or sprinkle over the ground cinnamon), drizzle over the honey and add 2 tbsp water to the dish.
- Bake in the oven for 15 mins. 5 mins before the end of cooking time, spoon the cooking juices over the figs and pop the hazelnuts onto a small baking tray or piece of foil to toast in the oven next to them.
- Remove the figs & hazelnuts from the oven. Spoon more of the hot syrup over the figs and set aside - I like to wait until the figs are warm rather than piping hot before I eat them. In the meantime roughly chop the hazelnuts.
- Serve topped with greek yoghurt, a spoonful of the rose-coloured buttery syrup and the toasted hazelnuts.