SHF#35: Fig and Raspberry Compote over Ice Cream

September 25, 2007 at 11:51 am | Posted in events, ice creams & frozen, other sweet, sweet things | 11 Comments

fig and raspberry compote

OMG…there are so many events I want to do this month, and of course I’ve saved them all until the last second!  I’ve always been a procrastinator, so this is really just par for the course.  But anyway, there will be lots of desserts for R and me (and a barrage of posts for you) this last week of September!  So to kick things off, I’m starting with what’s due in just a couple of hours– Sugar High Friday!  This month’s hostess is Ivonne, author of the addictively delicious Cream Puffs in Venice, and she’s chosen ‘The Beautiful Fig‘ as her theme.

For a long time I thought figs were really not so beautiful.  Fig Newtons (to me anyway) are gross, and so fresh figs suffered from guilt by association.  I never even had one until my mid-twenties.  I was surprised to find that a fresh fig is sweet and soft, smells great, is pretty and pleasantly seedy–nothing like the icky pasty stuff inside a Newton!  I am still not crazy about dried figs, unless they have been heavily booze-soaked.  But alas, the fruit (it’s actually a flower, as I read on Cream Puff’s blog) was to suffer another setback when the most annoyingly twitty boy in my culinary school class described a fresh fig as being like a certain part of a woman!  Ack–why, WHY did I have to hear that, especially from him?!?  Some mental scarring still remains, but I no longer take things out on the innocent fig.  

fresh figs

My inspiration for this recipe comes from Regan Daley’s recipe for oven-roasted figs with honey and orange in In the Sweet Kitchen, one of my bookshelf favorites.  I tweaked the technique and ingredients a bit because the figs right now in Sydney are maybe not quite as beautiful as their fall counterparts up in the Northern Hemisphere.  Chef Daley roasts the figs in the oven in a bath of orange juice, honey and spices.  I gave this method a test drive last week, and it truly tasted fabulous, but it kind of drained the color out of my figs.  I like to get a pretty picture you know, so I tried again, reducing my liquid to a loose syrup on the stove top before adding the figs to just briefly soften.  Once off the heat, I then stirred in a handful of raspberries for some extra visual pop (not to mention they taste great with figs).  I let the compote cool just slightly and then put it over vanilla ice cream.  I think it would be great with yogurt, too.  Scrummy and beautiful!

Fig and Raspberry Compote- makes three or four servings, depending on how much fruit you use

1 orange, zested and juiced
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods, smashed
1/4 c honey
2 T sugar
pinch of salt
2 T unsalted butter

several figs, quartered (I used 5 figs, but you could throw in a couple more)
handful of raspberries (fresh or frozen)

-Combine the orange juice and zest, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, honey, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan.  Simmer until cooked down and slightly syrupy.  Whisk in the butter.

-Add the cut figs, tossing in the syrup.  If your figs are ripe and soft, you can remove the pan from the stove top, and the residual heat from the syrup should warm them through.  If your figs are on the firm side, continue to gently simmer in the syrup until they soften slightly, about five minutes.

-Once off the heat, discard the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods.  Toss in the raspberries, coating with syrup.

-Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before spooning over ice cream.

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11 Comments »

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  1. Oh my goodness, those figs are gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to buy “In the Sweet Kitchen” and I think you’ve convinced me. This compote is delicious and beautiful!

    Thanks so much for taking part in SHF #35!

  2. Ooh, that looks so lovely!

  3. This is beautiful! And anything that can be served over ice cream has my vote!

  4. such a lovely fig-containing dessert to contribute to the SHF #35 – stunning photograph as well!! :0)

  5. Reading a lot of SHF entries lately, I was starting to wonder if I was the only one liking fresh figs. Glad to see you do to and that you make a beautiful compote with them. Lovely colors!

  6. I love fresh figs. In a compote over ice cream is even better. Yum :)

  7. Beautiful!

    When I was younger I always thoguht figs looked kind of gross so I never ate them and that sort of stuck with me but your pictures look so good I actually just went and tried one- so tasty!

  8. I wish with all my mite, I can have some of this right now.

  9. I had my first fig experience recently, and like you was skeptical because I’m not a huge fans of fig newtons. I discovered I love fresh figs though, and cooking with them too. This recipe looks delicious!

  10. Ivonne– I love her book. Her desserts are so “natural”…she really lets the ingredients shine. And she had a lot of good info about flavor pairings, etc in the book. Thanks for hosting SFH this month!

    Deborah and Maryann– I agree. Ice cream makes a good thing even better!

    melisser and VeggieGirl– Thanks!

    Tartelette– Your fig dessert is absolutely stunning!

    Caty– I am so happy this encouraged you to try a fresh fig…that is such a compliment! Thanks, and I’m glad you liked it!

    Cynthia–Come on over! :)

    Erin–Those darn Newtons have probably turned a lot of people off figs!

  11. Love the colors in your photos…and the compote looks fabulous!


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