One of my favourite things about my back yard is the fruit trees. We have an apple tree, a plum tree, a few stunted banana trees (which have never given any bananas in living memory), and a big overgrown Italian fig tree. There’s nothing quite like picking fresh sun ripened fruit off your very own tree and taking a big, juicy bite. Except maybe roasting them!
Until we moved into this house, I’d never had a fresh fig before. When I cut one open the first year we were here, I had no idea what it was supposed to look like or even how to eat it! The bright pink-red flesh looked almost…wormy. Was it supposed to look like that? Was I supposed to peel the skin like an orange or eat the whole thing like a berry?
Google is your friend in cases like this, but for anyone else wondering, yes, it’s supposed to look like that. Some people peel them, but they’re fine to eat whole as well, skin and all. That’s how we eat ’em.
It’s currently fig season, and our tree is laden down with fruit. It’s the perfect time to experiment with roasting figs!
So I sent the girls out into the garden to pick a bowlful of figs today. I taught them how to tell when they’re ripe: look for large fruit that feels soft and squishy to the touch, hanging vertically down from the branch, and slightly opening up at the bottom.
Look at that gorgeous colour! Figs are delicious fresh from the tree, but even better roasted in a sauce made from maple syrup, butter, and vanilla extract.
I cut the figs almost into quarters before popping them into the oven. Basically, I cut a cross into the top of the figs down about three quarters of the way. They go into the oven looking like these below, but they open up like flowers as they soften and roast.
Basting them with the maple syrup sauce a couple of times and adding some finely chopped pecans elevates the figs to divine.
They’re more than delicious all on their own, but if you have some vanilla ice cream in the freezer, you know what to do!
Serve up a generous scoop of ice cream with sweet roasted figs and pecans, still warm from the oven and drizzled with a bit of leftover maple sauce for good measure.
Everybody had seconds and asked for thirds! Good thing we have more figs ripening on the tree.
- 8 large ripe figs, washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt (if using unsalted butter)
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon raw finely chopped walnuts (or pecans)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut a cross into the top of each fig about three quarters of the way though.
- Arrange figs in an oven-safe baking dish.
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, add maple syrup, butter, and vanilla extract and stir until hot.
- Drizzle mixture over and into cut figs.
- Sprinkle with sea salt (if using unsalted butter) and cinnamon.
- Roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and spoon maple sauce from baking dish over and into figs.
- Sprinkle chopped nuts into figs, then roast for additional 5-7 minutes.
- Spoon sauce over hot figs again before serving.
- Serve roasted figs warm on their own or with vanilla ice cream.