Monday, 19 August 2013

Roasted Figs in Pomegranate Molasses

The fig tree at my parents' is a pretty big deal for me. As kids, my sister would nimbly leap from one branch to the next, hoisting herself up through the top canopy of leaves and balancing on the highest branch in seconds. I, on the other hand would take one branch at a time, cautiously testing every step. I would move past up her penknife carvings with such triumph, but never dared balance at the top. It is here that I hid in when I learned that my grandmother had passed away. I sat on my 'thinking branch' for what seems like hours, in utter despair. It was my grandmother that carved the trunk at the base from which to venture.
Nowadays, I pass by and pick the odd fig, tear in half to expose the soft flesh and devour with sticky fingers. I am also very fond of a chilled fig, but they don't last long in the fridge. A couple of days ago, I found myself inside the tree, with my niece on my shoulders with a breadknife, reaching for those cracked skin. We popped them in the fridge and by happy coincidence a fig recipe landed in my inbox via the Ottolenghi newsletter. I'm so glad I made the little effort to make these figs: we had everything on hand, except the mascarpone but they are delightful with Greek yogurt. I halved the cooking time, as I wanted to keep the form and texture of the fig. They were delicious warm, but equally good cold.
Ottolenghi Roast Figs
3 tbsp of pomegranate molasses 
1 tbsp of lemon juice
3 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
4 thyme sprigs
skin of 1 orange, in strips
8 fresh figs, cut lengthways
100g mascarpone 
100g yogurt
icing sugar
pinch of salt 

Put together in a large mixing bowl the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, 2 thyme sprigs, 1 tablespoon of water, the orange skin strips and a pinch of salt. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and then stir in the figs. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together in a small bowl the mascarpone, yoghurt and icing sugar until smooth. Keep chilled.
Remove the figs from the bowl (keeping the marinade) and arrange them snugly inside a small baking tray, roughly 20x20cm, the cut side facing up. Sprinkle the figs with the remaining sugar and put under a hot grill, clearing about 15cm from the grill. Grill for 10 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelised and the figs softened.
Meanwhile, pour the marinating liquids into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2-4 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by half and has a consistency of runny honey.
Transfer the hot figs to serving plates and spoon over any leftover syrup from the baking tray, then drizzle over the sauce reduction and sprinkle with picked thyme leaves. Place a spoonful of the yoghurt cream on the side or on the figs and sprinkle over the remaining orange zest. Serve at once.
If you can get hold of fresh figs, with a bit of 'give in the squeeze', please try this recipe, it's a good one and the figs last a while!


Rachel said...

This looks delicious. I haven't seen many figs over here yet - makes me even more jealous of your nip over to Spain!
Good old Ottolenghi email, not only a great newsletter...but impeccably timed too! x

thelittleloaf said...

Bee-ootiful! Love figs and roasted they get even better. Am obsessed with them in salads with mozzarella and prosciutto at the moment.

Katherine @ Londonnotebook said...

Yum! I love Ottolenghi. His Green Couscous from 'Plenty' has now appeared at pretty much every large family gathering I've had to cater for.

Jenny Chandler said...

Ah so that's where all the figs went! I lie, we did have some delicious figs for breakfast.
We had such a wonderful time at El Rancho and I'll get down to writing about it once Imi's birthday and the book launch are done and dusted.
Jenny X

Shu Han said...

That photo of the little one holding a big bowl of roasted figs- GORGEOUS. And the last one of it being demolished ! Love figs this time of the year- so completely gorgeous. YUM.

Milli said...

Rachel- love it when a recipe calls for everything you have in the kitchen.
thelittleloaf-a classic combo!
Katherine- I love a recommendation, it's one I haven't tried before, so thank you.
Jenny-your book has arrived, I have made the brownies, they caused quite a buzz!
Shu Han-Thank you. I love how proud kids are over their participation in a recipe :)

Deena kakaya said...

Simple and gorgeous! Are they very sweet? X

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