Marsala Poached Figs with Marscarpone Cream

Admittedly, we are having this with our Christmas lunch because I am not a fan of Christmas Pudding, and because I think that something light and alternative is called for. Of course you can have this at any time,  but the good thing about it is that it can be made well in advance – and in this recipe it needs to sit in the fridge for twenty-four hours so I tend to make it when making the aromatic spiced ham. The warm, rich figs with the caramel flavours of the Marsala compliment the fig and silky mascapone cream. I love it.


  • 6 ripe figs
  • 250ml Marsala wine
  • 125ml water
  • 75g sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 200g mascarpone cheese

Preparation method

  1. First wash and cut the figs and put them in a ceramic bowl.
  2. Mix the 75g of sugar with the 250ml of wine and add the split vanilla pod. Stir the lot and then shove the mix into a saucepan. Bring it all to the boil, take it off the heat and let it cool.
  3. When it is cooled pour it over the figs, cover the lot and put in the fridge for 24 hours.
  4. When you are ready for it, drain the juices, put the juice in a saucepan and boil it to reduce it by half.
  5. Plating up: as artistically as you can having consumed the Christmas wine, put three pieces of fig per person, then drizzle the warm wine over the figs put two spoonfuls of the mascarpone cheese between the figs and serve immediately.


About Cooking At Zero Degrees

This is a blog (it also works on an ipad and now has a Facebook page) about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour - and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.
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