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Fresh figs in aniseed syrup

  • 12 large, ripe but not over ripe figs
  • ¼ dl dry white wine
  • ¼ dl clear orange juice
  • 1 large pinch of aniseed seeds
  • 1 piece (about 8-10 cm) cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 pieces of orange peel (only the yellow)
  • 500 grams of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
Put the wine in an uncovered pan and slowly bring to the boil, allow the alcohol to evaporate completely (5-6 minutes) then put in the aniseed and the cinnamon (broken up)and remove from heat after a few seconds, put to one side to mature for at least 1 hour.
At the right moment take this wine, and filter through a fine cloth, put in a small high sided pan. Add the orange juice and peel, the sugar and salt put on a low flame still uncovered and stirring more frequently bring the liquid (the "syrup") to a slow boil.
Leave to simmer for 1½ hours uncovered, stirring every so often and removing the "scum" when necessary, until the syrup is shiny, transparent and a light orange colour.
At the moment of serving, remove the stem and skin of the figs , and place in four dishes, 3 figs in each sprinkle them with the boiling syrup (from which you have removed the orange peel), leave to dissolve for a couple of minutes, then serve at table accompanied by aniseed or cinnamon flavoured herb wine.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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