Spiced fig compote
This sweet, gently spiced concoction is very easy to make and will keep happily in the fridge for at least a week. Delicious with yoghurt or ice cream, but you might find yourself snaffling a spoonful or two throughout the day when hunger strikes.
Separate the dried figs if they are stuck together and give them a quick rinse in cold water to remove any rice flour if necessary. Put them in a heatproof bowl and pour over just enough boiling water to cover. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave to soak for 4–5 hours. Strain the water from the soaked figs into a saucepan and add the sugar, honey, spices and orange zest. Stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a gentle simmer.
Add the figs and poach very gently until completely tender. The timing will depend on how moist your figs were to start with – plump, ready-to-eat figs need 10–15 minutes, but drier fruit will take longer. If the syrup gets too thick, add a little warm water. Cool, then store the figs in their syrup in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.
Serve as a pud with yoghurt, cream, cold custard or ice cream, or with a scattering of my independent crumble. Alternatively, try it for breakfast with yoghurt and muesli or other cereal.
- 500g dried figs
- 25g light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons runny honey
- 2 cardamom pods, lightly squashed
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- A finely pared strip of orange zest
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