Simple roasted figs with honey, Port and an optional touch of lavender. Delicious served either chilled for dessert or with cheese.
They can say what they like.
I do give a fig.
Fig. Season. Is. Far. Too. Short.
What Are the Best Things to do with Figs?
When fresh figs are on show end Summer, beginning Autumn, I go crazy mad. We simply eat them raw on return from the market (washing them first, of course). Biting into a fresh, sweet fig has to be one of life's most satisfying pleasures! And yes, you can eat the skin.
We love them on their own but they also go so well with desserts as they are naturally sweet - but they are also just as delicious served with cheese and more savoury dishes. See below for some ideas.
Roasted Figs for Dessert
For example, add it to this banana and chestnut cake and the marriage is FIG-aro, figaro, figaro! (Yes, I'm proud of that one...). C'est magni-figue!
They're a real treat with coffee. So accompany Giant Coffee Macarons with Tiramisu Cream (see recipe on page 116 of Mad About Macarons). Likewise, with or without lavender, with a Macaron Tiramisu.
On top of that, they're beautiful sliced on top of a quick orange blossom almond paste in my Fig Tart Recipe (book, Teatime in Paris). It's so gorgeously simple, it's hardly even a recipe!
Did you know that figs have a high source of calcium as well as fibre?
See more at the French market fig guide.
Roasted Figs with Cheese
As the figs are roasted in Port, they are especially delicious served with cheese. Enjoy with a good roquefort, gorgonzola or goat's cheese.
They can be an original partner with cheese if you're entertaining. As the cheese board comes before dessert in France (it's the other way around in the UK: dessert then cheese). In fact, just make it the cheese and dessert course in one!
That way it keeps all guests happy if some are not partial to cheese or dessert. It's up to you if you want to keep the lavender or not. Both work well.
If you have lots of figs, then make this Corsican Fig Jam to enjoy at any time of year - it's particularly good with strong cheeses.
Savoury Roasted Figs
Moreover, they're just as good added to savoury dishes too. The French love to serve fresh figs with chèvre goat's cheese, in salads and with Foie Gras. Just slice them thinly and serve at the side of the plate with a few grapes.
However, roasted figs with honey are delicious served with many savoury dishes. Enjoy them served with the following, for example:
- Warm Goat's Cheese Salad (salade de chèvre chaud).
- As a side with this Onion Tarte Tatin - especially as there is some hidden goats cheese inside.
- For a cooked, savoury dish - omit the prunes and add a few halved figs in the last ten minutes (no more than 10 minutes!) of cooking in this Moroccan chicken tagine. The sweetness balances so well with the spices.
How Long to Bake a Fig?
Roasted figs couldn't be easier - or quicker. To bake figs, leave their skin on and bake for 15 minutes. As you can see from the recipe below, it's so simple and quick too.
The reduced, splashed-in-at-the-last-minute port ends up as a reduced, syrupy sauce out of the oven. Careful not to roast them too long, as the sauce will disappear quite fast. If you need another 5 minutes, go ahead but no more!
Simple Roasted Figs
I recommend adding a touch of lavender. I had completely forgotten to cut them in our garden and so they have dried up. Wow! Their fragrance is like walking into a crowd-wrestling tourist shop in Provence, with mechanical cicadas, herbes de Provence and lavender bags lining the walls.
I use port (white or red) but sherry is also good. If you're in Scotland, I suggest half and half of Whisky with Crabbies Ginger wine. I had this a few times as a Scottish student and so if you have access this is a winning combination (without the lavender).
Go on. Spoil yourself. Elles sont magni-figues!
Roasted Figs with Honey and Port
- 12 Plump violet figs
- 4 tablespoon Port (or Sherry)
- 2 tablespoon runny honey (Acacia)
- ½ dried lavender flower optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (200°C/400°F/Gas 6). Cut off the tops and slice figs in half, place them cut-side up in a roasting tin or baking dish.
- Pour over the port (or sweet sherry) and honey. If using, sprinkle over the equivalent of half a dried lavender flower.
- Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool then chill before serving.
This recipe was originally published 23 September 2011 but is now completely updated.