Friday, March 14, 2008

3 Recipe #32: Baked Figs (or Pears!)

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A week or two ago, after having watched Season 1, Episode 8 of Gordon Ramsay's "The F Word," (which was automatically taped as a TiVO suggestion -- What can I say, my TiVo really does know me well!), I went to my computer & scanned the internet far & wide, looking for Janet Street Porter's delectable-looking "fig pudding" recipe, which beat out Gordon's fig tart as the winner of their "bake-off" contest. After searching everywhere, I came up empty-handed. Sigh. Maybe one of these days she'll put out a cookbook. But until then, it looks like she's keeping that recipe a family-secret. (Speaking of which, if any of you do happen to know where I can procure this recipe, I'd be very grateful for the information! ;-) )

But of course I wasn't about to give up that easily. Those of you who know me, know that I am not often deterred when I'm determined to find something. So "Ha!"

I decided to re-watch the bake-off contest, writing down ingredients & approximating others which weren't explicitly shown or talked about. In the end, I probably ended up with a very different recipe, but I didn't care. Since I couldn't find the exact recipe to try, I was going to get creative & improvise on ingredients I thought would compliment the figs.

I sent my fiancé to the store to buy fresh figs, knowing full well that they were out of season, but, all the same, hoping against all hope that they would somehow be at the supermarket. After all, these days, the existence of high-tech greenhouses make the growing of out-of-season crops possible. Well, as luck would have it, I would have no such luck! :-) He came home without figs, but thankfully I'd given him a back-up plan -- Get pears instead if there are no figs. (Of course, had he have gone to a gourmet supermarket or had we lived in a state like California, things might've turned out differently. ;-) But it's no sense worrying or wishing about that now!)

So, anyhow, that night I put "Plan B" into effect, & served the baked/poached pears with a side of Breyer's low-fat vanilla ice cream for dessert. It took a matter of minutes to make & the dish was delish!

Try it, & let me know what you think!

Baked Figs (or Pears)

1 fig, split into quarters (or 1 pear, sliced into small chunks)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (or honey)
1/2 c. Marsala wine
honey, about 1/2 tsp.
1 Tbsp. butter
1/8 tsp. ground clove
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 small scoops Breyer's light vanilla ice cream

Directions: Cut up the fig/pear & place in a mini dutch oven. If you are using figs, split them open, but do not cut them completely apart. Pour Marsala wine on top. Add brown sugar & spices, & mix thoroughly, making sure to douse the fruit in the liquid mixture. Add butter & drizzle honey on top. The fruit should be mostly submerged in the liquid before you place it in the oven to bake. Place in the oven & bake for 30 minutes, or until fig/pear is soft but not mushy. Check the dish every so often as it's baking. When done, dole out mixture, dividing portions into two small porcelain ramekins. Scoop out 2 small scoops of vanilla ice cream & place on top. Serve & enjoy!

Yield: Makes 2 servings. (Of course, you can always double, triple, or quadruple the recipe to serve larger parties.)

Chef's Notes: Be sure to choose figs (or pears) which aren't too ripe, as they will disintegrate in the oven. For a healthier version of the above recipe, simply leave out the butter & sugar. It'll still taste good, just not as rich.

Serving Suggestions: If in season, sprinkle red currants on top. The tang of the currants is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the figs/pears. Alternatively, you could serve the dish with raisins on top, but in my opinion, that's a far more conventional & less exciting option. Live a little. Do something unexpected for a change! ;-)

I've also seen fig dishes served with mascarpone (or crème fraîche) & hazelnuts, which also sounds good. Of course, I encourage you to be creative & think of your own toppings as well.


Anna said...

Your recipes look absolutely fantastic. I have a recipes site at I also have a recipes site at

I was wondering if you would like to submit a recipe and/or exchange links with me? I have added your link at

The name of my site is Low Calorie and Vegetarian Recipes.

I really like what you have here in this blog. It is very creative and the recipes are unique and inspiring. I like that you also include very healthy foods, like figs, in such a creative way.

Cyberpenguin said...

Why thank you, Anna! Thanks so much for your kind comments. So glad to hear you are enjoying my recipes so much & appreciate what I'm trying to do here in this blog.

Thanks for mentioning your blog; I just stopped by for a visit. There are several delicious-looking recipes here!

Speaking of figs, I just so happened to see a salad recipe on your site that incorporates figs! ;-) Mmmmm, looks healthy AND delicious! Will definitely have to try that one.

It looks like you have multiple authors on your site. I was curious to know if you ever create your own recipes as well? Also, was curious to know if you're involved with food on a professional level, as a nutritionalist, cook, or food writer? Or is it just a casual personal interest or of yours?

Sure, I'd be happy to do a link exchange with you, as we seem to be of like minds when it comes to healthy eating & food in general. I'll gladly add you to my blog roll & hope you'll consider adding me as well!

Thanks so much for inviting me to submit a recipe. I'm honored & flattered! How would I go about submitting a recipe to your site?

Thanks again for your comments & for stopping by for a visit. Very much enjoyed reading what you wrote. Hope to hear from you again sometime soon!


Anna said...

Hi, thanks for your response.

I write some of the articles on the site about different types of foods and their nutritional values. I am planning to add a lot more when I finish some other projects. I don't write recipes myself, but I have always been interested in nutrition, I can make various herbal remedies etc. But it is more of a casual, personal thing. I am also a poet and photographer.

If you want to submit a recipe, you can send it to the email address here: you can include a little bit about yourself and a link or links back to your own sites. I would be very happy to have new content!

I have also added your link at

Hope to hear from you!

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