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Serves: 4

The Sainsbury's magazine fruit bowl, (which we delve into for elevenses providing there isn't a better option coming out the test kitchen) is usually filled with your classic apples, pears and bananas and occasionally an exotic nectarine - but this week, we discovered some rogue figs had made their way in, and their unexpected appearance has become quite a talking point. Obviously they're not as beautifully ripe and flavoursome as the fresh figs you might find in hotter climates like Italy, but it got us talking about how we could cook with them at home.

We came across Nigella's figs with honey recipe in the new paperback version of her Italian inspired cookbook, Nigellissima. This dessert couldn't be easier to make and would be perfect to cook and share with friends this weekend.

Nigella says: 'I find 8 figs perfect for 4 people, but if they are small, then up quantities to 12 figs; the sauce quantities should be fine as they are. The idea is not to drown the figs in honey scented cream, but to kiss them with it.'


FIGS WITH HONEY-CREAM AND PISTACHIOS

Recipe taken from Nigellissima: Instant Italian Inspiration by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus, £14.99)

Ingredients

  • 8 large black figs
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 60ml double cream
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp shelled, chopped pistachio nuts

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7.
  2. Take a knife and cut into the figs as if you wanted to cut them into quarters, downwards, but do not cut right through to the bottom; you want to be able to open them like a flower.
  3. Arrange them in a small baking tin – I use a tarte Tatin tin – dribble the olive oil over them, then bake for 10 minutes (or a little less if the figs are small), until they are soft.
  4. In a teeny-tiny saucepan, heat the cream and honey and let it bubble for about 1–1½ minutes so that it is slightly condensed and reduced. Keep an eye on it.
  5. Remove the figs from the oven and arrange them on 1 large plate or 4 small plates, then pour the honeyed cream over them and scatter with the chopped pistachios.
 

About the author

Sarah Alcock