Baked Figs in Port with caramelised almonds



   
 

Ingredients
For the sugar syrup
  • 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
  • 100ml/3½fl oz water
For the figs
  • 8 ripe purple figs
  • 4 tbsp port wine (such as ruby port)
  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp honey
For the caramelised almonds
  • 110g/4oz flaked almonds
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • Crème fraîche, to serve
 

 

Preparation method
  • For the sugar syrup, place the caster sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then raise the heat under the pan and bring the syrup to a boil. Boil for one minute, then remove the pan from the heat.
  • For the figs, preheat the oven to 240C/465F/Gas 9. Prick the figs all over using a fork.
  • Gently heat the port in a casserole dish and allow to bubble until it has reduced by half. Add the butter, six tablespoons of the sugar syrup, the split vanilla pod and a generous amount of black pepper. Bring to the boil, then gently add the figs and the honey.
  • Transfer to the oven for 5-6 minutes, basting the figs occasionally with the liquid. 
  • Meanwhile, for the caramelised almonds, sprinkle the flaked almonds onto a non-stick baking tray and dust generously with icing sugar. Bake in the oven for a few minutes, until golden-brown.
  • To serve, arrange the figs on serving plates and drizzle the poaching liquor over them. Scatter the caramelised almonds over them and decorate with the vanilla pods if you like. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.