Port-roasted Figs with Mascarpone

Serves: 4

1 orange

16 ripe small black Italian figs

200ml port

balsamic vinegar

6 star anise

1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder

200g icing sugar

180g mascarpone, to serve



Grate the zest of the orange, then squeeze the juice.

Make a cross in the top of each fig with a sharp knife, then push each fruit together with your fingers so that the cross faces upwards.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.


To cook:

Pack the figs tightly together in a baking dish with their cut sides facing upwards (this way their shape will remain).

Pour the Port over the figs, then sprinkle over the orange zest and juice, add a splash of balsamic vinegar and the spices, and finally the icing sugar (it will seem a lot of sugar, but it needs to form a syrup).

Bake for 12-15 minutes (the high heat is crucial for the figs to bake rather than poach). Remove the dish from the oven and leave the figs to cool for 5 minutes.

Divide the figs equally between 4 bowls and spoon the mascarpone on top. Drizzle over the syrup from the dish and serve straight away.