It’s early September, and I can’t find any figs in my supermarket. Last week there were lots of lovely tiny ones which you could finish in one bite, but this week nothing. Fig season is from July to October, so I’m hoping I will still manage to bag a few of the season’s last figs before it’s too late.
Pomegranates, on the other hand, are plentiful. Pomegranate is a winter fruit, and grows in the Northern hemisphere from September to February and the Southern hemisphere from March to July. The ones in my supermarket are from India, where pomegranates grow the whole year round.
My usual recourse with figs is to eat them plain or to prepare them as Figs with Mascarpone and Honey, but last week I decided to use my stash of figs for something different. Here’s my recipe for Figs and Pomegranate in Cardamom and Clove Spiced Syrup. Delicious spooned over yogurt, ice cream or cake.
FIGS AND POMEGRANATE in CARDAMOM AND CLOVE SPICED SYRUP
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
250g / 8oz ripe figs (approximately 10 small figs)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
6 green cardomom pods (whole)
Pinch of salt
- In a small saucepan, pour 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, 6 cardamom pods, 6 cloves, and a pinch of salt.
- Place the saucepan on the stove and heat on medium for about 10 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve and the flavors to infuse. After 10 minutes, switch off the heat, but leave the syrup in the saucepan to continue infusing.
- Prepare the figs by washing and drying them gently. With a small sharp knife, cut off the stem at the top of each fig. Cut the fig into quarters or sixths (you want them to be bite-size). Set aside.
- My preferred way to de-seed a pomegranate is by what I call ‘The Water Method’. To do this, wash and dry the skin of your pomegranate. Fill a large bowl with fresh water and set it aside. Using a small sharp paring knife, cut off the flower stem at the top of the pomegranate. Take your knife and carefully score the skin from top to bottom into 4-6 segments (make sure you only cut the skin, not the seeds). Holding the pomegranate in your two hands, carefully pry it apart. It should separate easily. Take a segment, and submerge it in the bowl of fresh water. Start pulling apart the seeds under the water while discarding the pith and skin. The seeds will sink to the bottom while most of the pith will float. Do the same for all the segments of the pomegranate. When you are finished, drain the pomegranate seeds. They are now ready to use. Depending on how fresh your pomegranate is, you can store the seeds in the refrigerator for upto 3 days.
- Once the syrup has cooled down to room temperature, remove the cardamom pods and cloves (this is important as they will be hard to find after you have added the pomegranate seeds). Add the pomegranate seeds and figs. Gently mix. Put in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours to allow the syrup to infuse its flavor into the fruit. Can be refrigerated for upto 48 hours.
- Eat in its own or spoon it over yogurt, ice cream or cake.