Poached Figs

with Blackberries in Red Wine



  • 750 g/ lb ripe, undamaged blackberries, washed
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 175 g/6 oz caster sugar
  • 1 bottle Zinfandel red wine
  • 16 firm, ripe, fresh figs
  • 75 ml/3 fl oz crème de mure (blackberry liqueur) or crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves


Place the blackberries, lemon and orange juice in a liquidizer or food processor, and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into an enamel or stainless steel saucepan, and discard the pips.

Add the sugar and red wine. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat, simmer, and skim when necessary. When the sugar has dissolved, poach the figs, 4 at a time, for 4–5 minutes depending on ripeness. Remove the figs to a glass bowl as they finish cooking.

Bring the blackberry purée to the boil and reduce to about 450 ml/¾ pint. Allow to cool, then add the liqueur and the mint. Pour over the figs. If possible, prepare this dish 24 hours ahead, and turn the figs in the liquor from time to time. Delicious unadorned – or you could serve with a rich vanilla ice cream.