The recipe for these little marzipan-stuffed delicacies from the papal city of Avignon includes two versions, a moister one for use as a dessert and a sweeter and stickier one for use as a sweetmeat to accompany coffee.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.com
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 orange zest slices
- 18 to 20 dried figs, moister if for dessert and drier if for a sweetmeat
- 4 tablespoons Cognac or Armagnac
- 1 package (6.5 ounces) marzipan paste
- 1 In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, cloves and orange zest. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the figs and 3 tablespoons of the Cognac. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for 2 hours to plump the figs. Let cool for 30 to 45 minutes.
- 2 Remove the figs from the cooking liquid, reserving the liquid. Using a small knife, make a slit at the center of each fig. Using a small spoon or your fingers, press 1 scant teaspoon of marzipan into each fig, smoothing the surface of the marzipan. Pinch the slit closed but leave a little marzipan visible. Return the figs to the liquid in the saucepan.
- 3 Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon Cognac, mixing well, and then stir the figs to coat them with the liquid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a bowl.
- 4 To serve the figs as a dessert, boil the liquid in the pan, stirring often, until it is a good sauce consistency, then pour over the figs.
- 5 To serve the figs as a sweetmeat, reduce the liquid to a thick syrup, stirring constantly. Transfer the figs and syrup to a bowl or jar, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
- 6 Remove from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving. Serves 6 as a dessert, 10 as a sweetmeat.