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Fresh Figs With Vanilla Cream

The ripeness of the figs will determine their cooking time. This is an ideal recipe for a barbecue because it is prepared on the barbecue and left to stand until you are ready to eat.

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450ml/ pint/scant 2 cups dry white wine
75g/3oz/⅓ cup clear honey
50g/2oz/ cup caster sugar
1 small orange
8 whole cloves
450g/1lb fresh figs
1 cinnamon stick
Sprigs of fresh mint, or bay leaves, to decorate


300ml/ pint/1 cups double cream
1 vanilla pod
5ml/1 tsp caster sugar


Serves: 6


1. Put the wine, honey and caster sugar in a heavy saucepan and heat gently on the barbecue or hob until the sugar dissolves.

2. Stud the orange with the cloves and add to the syrup with the figs and cinnamon. Cover and simmer very gently for 5-10 minutes until the figs are tender. Transfer the contents of the pan to a serving dish and leave to cool.

3. Put 150ml/¼ pint/⅔ cup of the cream in a small saucepan with the vanilla pod. Bring almost to the boil, then leave to cool and infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod and mix the flavoured cream with the remaining cream and sugar in a bowl. Whip lightly. Transfer to a serving dish.

4. Decorate the figs with mint or bay leaves and serve with the vanilla cream.

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