Saturday, October 09, 2010

Prelude to Thanksgiving: Fig Compote

Fresh figs are a bit of a rarity here in Vancouver, so finding some at the grocery store is always an occasion for me to give thanks. I love their delicate flavour and firm, blue-black skin that gives way to crunchy softness. I bought a pound of fresh figs this week, and by happy coincidence a recipe for fig compote came through my Twitter feed that same day.

Now I've had fresh figs and dried figs, but I've never had kicked-up figs, so I thought it was about time to try. And am I ever glad I did. On this cold, rainy autumn night, my kitchen is filled with the fragrance of melted butter, sugar, and honey, and for supper I'm having this rich, dark, sticky, sweet compote spread on warm slices of French bread, eaten straight off the bread board. Yummmmm. If I were a cat I'd be purring.

Fresh Fig Compote
adapted from Good to the Grain by Kimberly Boyce

1/2 pound fresh figs
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Remove stems from figs and cut into quarters (or halves, if they are small)

Turn on your oven to the broil setting and set a cast-iron or oven-proof pan on the stove to heat.

Melt the butter and add the honey and sugar. Stir together and cook on high heat for about a minute, mixing frequently, until it starts to bubble.

Add the sliced figs and stir to coat them with the syrup.

Slide the pan into the oven to broil. Cook for five minutes. With your oven mitts on, turn the figs a few times to prevent them from sticking and burning.

The compote is ready to pull out when the syrup is deep golden in colour.

Serve warm on slices of bread or pancakes, or rolled into crepes.


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