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Roasted Figs with Crème Fraîche

Black Mission and Turkish figs are good varieties to use for this dish. There are two fig seasons: a small crop is harvested from June through July, while a second larger crop is in markets from early September into October. Look for figs with skins free of bruises and any sign of mold. Choose slightly underripe figs for this dish so they will hold their shape during baking.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering dish
  • 12 fresh figs
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

Directions:

Prepare the figs
Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Butter a baking dish that will hold the figs snugly and has sides high enough to support them. Trim any tough stems from the figs and cut an X in the bottom of each fig. Arrange the figs, stem ends up, in the prepared dish.

Make the sauce
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, the 4 Tbs. butter and the cinnamon. Cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts, about 4 minutes. Pour the sauce over the figs.

Bake the figs
Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the figs feel soft when touched gently, 10 to 15 minutes. The timing will depend upon the ripeness of the figs. After 10 minutes of baking, spoon the sauce over the figs to baste.

Place the figs in small bowls, spoon the warm sauce over them and serve with spoonfuls of crème fraîche. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Desserts, by Elinor Klivans (Oxmoor House, 2007).