Figs seem to be one of those foods that evoke very strong emotions -- you either love them or hate them. I adore figs, especially the black or brown ones -- my husband does not care for them at all. We have a fig tree in our back yard, which means that during fig season I can eat my fill and only have to share with certain wildlife! Once the birds and squirrels have finished off the season's crop, however, I must resort to buying them from the grocery stores, and therein lies the problem. Figs from the store are probably the most perishable fruit in the produce aisle. Unless you eat them right away they will develop mold and devolve to inedible mush in a day or two. In our stores you do not get to choose the number of figs you purchase, as they come in a plastic container with a generous number inside. Also, the figs in the container are at various stages of ripeness, from fully ripe to almost rock-hard, usually in equal proportions. I can eat the ripe ones right away, either plain or cut up and adorned with a little sugar and some light cream. The hard ones have always been a problem -- until now! I discovered this recipe for Honey-Roasted Figs the other day, and my life will never be the same. When roasted in an easy-to-make syrup, the hard figs are every bit as delicious as ripe ones. Now the only problem I will have is when fresh figs are no longer available even at the store -- then I will just have to wait for fig season to come around again!
12 figs, halved
3 T. honey
2 T. butter
1 T. Grand Marnier
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Place figs in a pie plate, cut sides up. Combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts. Swirl to blend and pour over the figs. Bake figs at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn off oven and let figs sit in the oven with the door ajar for another 5-10 minutes. Serves 4.
Note: You can sprinkle a little fresh thyme on top of the figs when you turn the oven off if desired (I did not since I didn't have any and the figs were delicious without it). This recipe makes 4 to 6 dessert servings depending on the size of the figs used (or if you love figs as much as I do, you will be lucky to get 2 servings out of it!).