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Dried Figs in Wine

One of the best fruit desserts is simply a bowl of fresh figs. I only see them in the market occasionally. When I do, I serve them as a first course with prosciutto or as a dessert with a dollop of sweet and creamy mascarpone on the side. When fresh figs are not available, I rely on this old family recipe that utilizes dried figs.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

1 teaspoon butter

12 large dried figs (1/2 pound)

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup dry red wine

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a deep 6-inch round casserole dish with the butter.

With your fingers, open each fig at the stem end to form a small hole. Stuff some of the walnuts into each fig and place filled side up in a single layer in the casserole.

In a small pot, heat the wine and honey, stirring until the honey dissolves. Pour the mixture over the figs. Sprinkle on the zest, cover the casserole tightly with a lid or foil, and bake for 30 minutes.

Let the figs cool to room temperature in the casserole. To serve, place 3 figs on each of 4 small dessert dishes and pour over some of the wine sauce. Serve immediately.

This recipe is from NELLA CUCINA by Mary Ann Esposito.

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