Figs poached in red wine (Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall)

A simple, delicious pudding that’s a great way of using less than perfectly ripe figs. Serves four to eight.

400ml red wine
Juice of 1 orange
1 strip each orange zest and lemon zest, pared with a vegetable peeler and any white pith removed
4 tbsp runny honey
1 vanilla pod, split
2 cloves
1 star anise
8 ripe figs, stalks trimmed
A knob of butter
Vanilla ice-cream or thick Greek yoghurt, to serve

Put the wine, orange juice, zest, honey, vanilla, cloves and star anise into a saucepan and simmer gently for five minutes.

Pierce the figs a few times with a cocktail stick or thin skewer, to help the liquid penetrate the fruit, and carefully lower them into the simmering poaching liquid. Cook, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes, depending on their size, gently turning them over once or twice, until the skins are tender.

Remove the figs with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl. Raise the heat and boil the syrup until it’s reduced and slightly thickened, then stir in the butter. Serve the figs hot or cold with a ball of ice-cream or dollop of Greek yoghurt, and some of the sticky, syrupy juices spooned over the top.

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