Figs Stuffed with Marzipan (Figues Sèches au Marzipan)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 orange zest slices
- 18 to 20 dried figs, moister if for dessert
and drier if for a sweetmeat
- 4 Tbs. Cognac or Armagnac
- 1 package (6.5 oz.) marzipan paste
Remove the figs from the cooking liquid, reserving the liquid. Using a small knife, make a slit at the center of each fig. Using a small spoon or your fingers, press 1 scant tsp. of marzipan into each fig, smoothing the surface of the marzipan. Pinch the slit closed but leave a little marzipan visible. Return the figs to the liquid in the saucepan. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. Cognac, mixing well, and then stir the figs to coat them with the liquid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a bowl.
To serve the figs as a dessert, boil the liquid in the pan, stirring often, until it is a good sauce consistency, then pour over the figs. To serve the figs as a sweetmeat, reduce the liquid to a thick syrup, stirring constantly. Transfer the figs and syrup to a bowl or jar, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Remove from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.