Roast Figs With A Bold Alcohol To Ensure A Rich Syrup

If you're one of the few who doesn't get what all the fuss is about when it comes to figs, it might be because the ones you tried were the chewy, dried varieties you can buy year-round. Fresh figs are in a league of their own, and there's only a small window of the year when they are perfectly ripe and in season (this depends on where you live, but most states enjoy figs from late summer to early fall). You can add them to cakes, put them in salads, cut them up for a charcuterie board, or even nestle them in a creamy cheese pizza for a sweet and savory twist.

As much as you can do with fresh figs, there is, arguably, nothing quite like roasting them. However, on their own, some of the juice tends to dry up a bit in the oven and they won't give off as much liquid as they do when biting into an uncooked one. To work around this, there's a quick fix that will ensure decadent, caramelized, roasted figs — simply pour in a bit of alcohol before popping them in the oven. This will re-incorporate some of the lost juices and leave you with a rich, thick syrup with added bold flavors. 

The technique is foolproof: toss halved, fresh figs in a baking dish with a few tablespoons of alcohol, honey or maple syrup, some brown sugar, and whatever seasonings or herbs you'd like. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Don't take the type of alcohol too seriously

You're probably wondering exactly what type of alcohol to use here, and you'll be glad to hear that it's all up to you. Red wine pairs beautifully with the natural richness of the fig, and it also reduces well for premium flavor and consistency. On the other hand, white wine incorporates a bit of brightness to balance out any heaviness in the fig juice. If you like things super sweet, reach for a sweeter wine, but dry wines like Merlot will give off more earthy, chocolatey notes.

You're not solely stuck with wine, though — you can definitely use liqueur for roasting figs as well. Rum is made from molasses, so its syrupy flavors go great with the indulgence of this dish. If you'd prefer some earthiness in the taste, reach for something like Chartreuse or Giffard Violette — which both give off green, herbal, floral notes. Have a favorite liqueur sitting in your cabinet? Feel free to grab that instead as you really can't go wrong here — the powerful flavors of the fig will be the main attraction.