Walnut Stuffed Figs

Serves 6:

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but every once in a while I crave a little something sugary after a meal. When I do reach for something sweet I look for something that really satisfies (and I’m not talking Snickers). Also, a few folks have asked when I would post a dessert so this one is for you! For the first AGH dessert I’m sharing another recipe from my beloved Turkey…walnut stuffed figs. With only five ingredients (water is a free bee) this dessert is simple but decadent and full of flavor. Plus with only a few bites needed to satisfy that craving, it’s lower in calories than most desserts. I found all the ingredients I needed at Whole Foods in the bulk section (Turkish dried figs and walnut halves) with the rest coming from the pantry, which made it really inexpensive as well. Try this or any of the variations and I promise this won’t disappoint!

Ingredients:

  • 12 – 18 Turkish dried figs
  • 12 – 18 walnut halves
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ¼ lemon or lime
  • 12 – 18 cloves (1 per fig)
  • Grated coconut or crushed pistachios (optional)

Prep It:

  • Combine the water, sugar and cloves in a small shallow pan. Squeeze the juice of the lemon/lime into the mixture. Throw the peel in and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the stuffed figs. Stick a knife into the side of the fig and cut through going slightly beyond the middle. Turn slightly and cut until the knife has cut a hole big enough for the walnut to fit in. Stuff half a walnut – or the equivalent of if you only have pieces – into the fig. Press the edges of the fig together to seal it shut. Repeat with the remaining figs.

Cook It:

  • Place the stuffed figs into the simmering syrup, stem side up.  Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, turning midway through cooking. Turn them over about 5 minutes before they’re done to give them color on each side.
  • Remove from heat and allow the figs to cool in the syrup. Serve at room temperature.

Serve It:

  • Transfer 2 – 3 figs to a plate and enjoy!
  • Change it up!
    • Can’t find figs or just don’t’ like them? Try dried apricots and almonds instead.
    • Try a bit of whipped cream or crème fraiche on the side to balance the sweetness of the figs.
  • Don’t throw out the syrup!! Here are a few ideas on how to use it:
    • Shake 1 part syrup with 1 part vodka with ice. Pour into a martini glass and add a splash of soda water. Voila! Figatinis!
    • Once cooled, pour the liquid over anything requiring a sweet twist. How about pancakes, cornbread, cottage cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit or even manchego cheese!
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