janet @ the taste space

Madeira-Poached Figs with Lemon and Sage

In Breakfasts, Desserts on September 26, 2012 at 6:46 AM

(sorry, this time you can actually post comments! Apparently I can’t figure out wordpress for Android)

For someone who doesn’t drink, I have a lot of alcohol. I used to have more booze attributed to my purchases than Rob, but that was before Rob visited Veux-Tu une Biere? in Montreal and stocked up like mad with artisanal beers.

I may not drink alcohol, but I will gladly cook with it. Over the years, I have gathered:

Vodka, from my Penne Alla Vodka days.

Sherry, because it is easier than keeping white wine in the fridge. Great in this Carrot and Roasted Red Pepper Soup.

Raki, from my trip to Turkey. My Dad already drank half of it but I think I wanted it to make a poached-fish dish. Totally tabled for now.

Chambord, because I wanted to make a knock-off of a mixed berry Chambord-whipped cream French toast from a local resto, Coquine. Off my radar for now.

Amaretto, because who doesn’t like almonds?

Madeira, because I was lusting over Madeira-soaked mushroom ragouts.

I think I also have a small amount of Creme de Menthe because I wanted to make a Grasshopper dessert.

Rob has scotch, rum, Aguardiente (from our Colombian trip), ROOT liqueur (tastes like root beer and Rob highly recommends it!) and SNAP gingersnap liqueur (with blackstrap molasses, ginger and cloves! but Rob hasn’t opened it yet). Nevermind his stock-piled of beer.

While trying to decide what to do with a crate of figs, I decided to finally break out the Madeira. Fresh figs do not last long. Roasting them (or technically poaching them in this case), allowed me to extend their sweetness for another 2 weeks.

Madeira: Candy liqueur, as Rob put it, after he tasted it from the bottle. Using it to oven-poach figs resulted in a sweet yet savoury concoction spiked with lemon and sage. I tried a bunch of variations, but my favourite was with the lemon and sage, although you could leave them out, too. Thyme also worked well. I also tried a few cinnamon-orange variations but preferred the one with Madeira. The orange zest became a bit bitter through the roasting so consider omitting that if you want to try that variation.

Serve over top something more bland and neutral like your morning oatmeal (that’s what I did), or serve as a dessert slathered over banana soft-serve ice cream.

Because my photos aren’t always that photogenic, I thought it would be neat to play around with some of the features on Picasa. I rarely do much photo post-processing other than “I Feel Lucky” but found this neat “Orton-ish” option in Picasa (see pic below). Not entirely sure who or what this Orton effect was all about, I learned it was named for Michael Orton who would combine 2 images: one in focus and the other out-of-focus to create an impressionistic effect. Brought me back to my black and white darkroom days!

How do you like the photo? I like the colour palate with the soft contours and warmer colours. More of an artsy shot now, instead of a food porn photo. But hey, it keeps me entertained!


This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Chris.

Madeira-Poached Figs with Lemon and Sage
Adapted from David Lebovitz

4-5 figs, washed, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 tbsp Madeira (or port, or Marsala, or red wine)
1 tbsp agave (optional with Madiera, better if using red wine)
3 sage leaves, chiffonaded (thyme works, too)
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Place all ingredients except figs in a medium oven-safe dish with high sides. Stir together and then stir in figs. Slosh around to coat the figs evenly. Place figs cut-side down in a single layer.

3. Cover with tin-foil and bake figs for 15-20 minutes. If you want them less juicy, do not cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Bake until cooked through.

4. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Will keep in fridge for 2 weeks.

Serves 2.

Variation: Orange-Cinnamon-Vanilla
(not my favourite)

4-5 figs, washed, stemmed and halved lengthwise
50 cc fresh orange juice (half an orange)
zest from half an orange (can leave a bitter taste, add with caution)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. See directions above.

  1. As someone who like drinking and cooking booze, this looks awesome. I’d love to try it with grand mariner!

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! Your blog is lovely, what a delicious recipe! I’m like you — I don’t drink alcohol, but I often at least have a bottle of red in my fridge for cooking with! 🙂

  3. Yup, we have a lot of liquors that have been bought for recipes and just sit there in between times. Amaretto and Chambord are favorites for recipes.

  4. Hehe I do the same thing when my photos turn out bad- photo-editing to the rescue!

    I love how this post echoes so much of what we chatted about yesterday…maybe I should have read this first 😉

    Looks delicious by the way- I really need to pick up some figs!

  5. oooh! Love love love figs. I don’t drink much either, but there is something quite sexy about cooking with it! This is a perfect for the WHB round up. I am working on it now! Thank you!!

  6. […] Maderia-Poached Figs with Lemon and Sage Figs Janet from The Taste Space […]

  7. […] as local berries arrived and continued to excite me throughout the summer. In the fall, came the figs and apples. Now we have pomegranates, […]

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