By: Chef Ben Davis

Poached Figs in Red Wine

The sweet, subtle flavor of figs makes them a beautiful addition to both sweet and savory recipes. Whether you’re a first-time fig feaster or a fig aficionado, this recipe is perfect to make quick use of those not-quite-ripe yet figs sitting in your garden, lying in wait on your kitchen counter, or found in your local store.

Perfumed with an array of spices, sweet figs make a refreshing, light dessert. To add a little something extra, serve poached figs with a dollop of whip cream, sweetened yogurt, or even a small scoop of ice cream. However, whenever, wherever it’s served, this out-of-the-ordinary dessert will add a welcoming touch of sweetness to brighten your day.

Serves 4


1-pint fresh raspberries

2 ½ tbsp lemon juice, strained

¾ cup sugar

1 bottle of red wine, preferably Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot

12-18 slightly under-ripe black mission figs

1 orange


1. In a food processor puree the raspberries with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the sugar for 2 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and discard the seeds.

2. Place the puree in a nonreactive saucepan and add the red wine and remaining sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely melted.

3. Poach the figs in the raspberry-wine mixture over low heat for about 4 minutes, turning them over every minute or so as they poach. Remove the figs with a slotted spoon and arrange them in a shallow bowl with the stem side up. Reduce the poaching liquid to about 1 ¼ cups. Pour over the figs and chill.

4. To garnish the figs, cut the orange rind into thin strips. Boil for 3 minutes then drain and refresh under cold water. Pat dry and arrange over the figs. Serve with walnut cookies.