Spiced roast figs
This lovely low-fat pudding is positively bursting with spicy scents of cinnamon and star anise
- 8 figs
- 4tbsp light soft brown sugar
- 4tbsp runny honey
- 5cm (2in) piece of cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- Few drops of vanilla extract
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 4tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Mascarpone, to serve (optional)
Figs are at their best in autumn - but don't worry if they aren't quite ripe as they respond wonderfully to roasting.
- Trim the tips off figs to remove the hard part of the stalks. Place the figs in a shallow roasting tin.
- Pour 150ml (¼ pint) water into a small saucepan and add the sugar and honey. Place the pan over a gentle heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the cinnamon stick, star anise, vanilla, lemon rind and juice and vinegar. Increase the heat and boil rapidly until quantity has been reduced by half.
- Pour the syrup over the figs. Bake the figs in the centre of the oven at 150°C (300°F, gas mark 2) for 25-30 minutes, basting them occasionally with the syrup, until the figs are tender. Remove the figs from the oven and leave them to cool slightly.
- Serve the figs while they're warm, or cold, with syrup spooned over them, and a bowl of mascarpone for guests to add themselves, if liked.