© David Loftus
jamie's baked figs
You should have no problem getting nice figs at this time of year and they’re wonderful to make in so many ways so when you see them, buy them up! Here’s one really gorgeous way to have them. I promise you won’t get bored of these; there are so many lovely ways of using them up. Personally, I like to make a sort of bruschetta with them or put them out on a platter with some nice cheese. As it’s Christmas and your kitchen is probably well-stocked, you’ll hopefully have the ingredients for the bruschetta on hand already. If not, you can always improvise with whatever you’ve got in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 110ºC/ 225ºF/ gas ¼. Lay your figs, cut-side up, in a baking tray. Using a fine grater, zest your clementines over the figs then dust the figs with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a teaspoon of sugar. My flavoured sugar is also great for this so if you’ve made a batch of that, feel free to use that instead.
Pop the figs in the oven to bake for 4 hours, checking on them every hour or so. When they come out of the oven you’ll have semi-dehydrated figs, which will be a bit like wine gums.
Get yourself a few slices of nice warm bread, crumble over some lumps of cheese, and a few pieces of walnut then put a few fig halves and a drizzle of runny honey over the top to finish it off. I think the combination of salty goat’s cheese with these figs and a bit of honey is absolute heaven.
Figs in honey
You’ll be able to put any leftover figs to good use in all sorts of ways. A really nice way of using them up Christmas is to turn them into a bit of a gift by popping a stack of them in a sterilised jar, covering them completely with honey then sealing the jar with an airtight lid. They’ll be beautiful as part of a cheese platter, baked in a tart, a sticky toffee pud, or even thrown into a roasting tray with some pork or other meat for a bit of added sweetness. Give them to your mates when you go round to theirs for dinner. They’ll love getting something unique, especially when you explain all the different things they can do with them.
For the baked figs
• 24 figs, halved
• 2 clementines
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons caster sugar
For the fig bruschetta
• 1 loaf of rustic bread, sliced
• hard or soft goat’s cheese
• a handful of walnuts
• 1 large jar runny honey