Roasted figs with honey and Marsala served with a dollop of zesty orange mascarpone accompanied by orange shortbread biscuits

This past week I did my first ‘staycation’ in years.

Growing up, many summer holidays were spent in Sandbanks where my Grandpa had bought a house back in the 50s long before the area became fashionable. He had a beautiful cottage that backed out onto the sea with a lovely garden that gave us enough room to be outside all day or just a short walk from the gorgeous white sand of Sandbanks beach. Spoilt, I know.

This time my husband and I opted for a cottage situated just slightly back from the front in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. We still were lucky to have great views of the sea and much time was spent pointing out the big boats sailing past or watching the weather change over the sea to produce the most magnificent scenery.

We had both sets of parents to stay for a couple of nights and I think I’m confident in saying my dad was in heaven. Having been a keen sailor ‘in his day’ (so he tells me), he was giving the history on most boats, the area and what most sailors could do to improve.

We spent a lot of time visiting most of the island and saw some beautiful sailing villages, some stunning views and of course ate out at some fantastic restaurants. It really did have it all…. although maybe not the weather whilst we were there!

On the one evening when both sets of parents were staying, I thought it would be nice to have an evening in and cook a lovely meal for us all to enjoy in the comfort of home.

I made the shortbread first thing on returning from a run along the coast, whilst everyone was still getting ready for the day out.

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Whilst the main course was a simple slow cooked lamb with a couple of salads, I wanted to use some figs I’d picked up in the supermarket earlier in the week for dessert.

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I am such a huge fan of figs and they are in abundance at this time of year.

Figs really don’t need much help to produce a flavoursome dessert that it’s almost cheating calling it baking!

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With a drizzle of Marsala and honey over the figs, the smells coming out the oven after just 15 minutes were divine.

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The figs looked so juicy and inviting when you got a glimpse of the soft flesh inside opening up asking for a dollop of mascarpone on them!

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Orange and fig is a great flavour combination and by putting a shortbread biscuit on the side or crumbling some on top of the mascarpone, I think you get a little bit of crunch to go along with succulent, soft figs.

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And the orange zest coming through the mascarpone is a little bit of zing against the cream cheese.

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A dessert that really requires very little effort but with maximum reward.

Best enjoyed looking out to sea, watching the boats go past.

Roasted figs with honey and Marsala served with a dollop of zesty orange mascarpone accompanied by orange shortbread biscuits

(Serves 6 people)


To make the shortbread (makes approx 15 biscuits)

150g plain flour

100g unsalted butter

50g light soft brown sugar

Large pinch of cinnamon, to taste

Zest of one orange

To make the roasted figs

12 ripe figs

Enough honey to drizzle over all the figs

Enough Marsala to drizzle over all the figs

To make the mascarpone

260g tub of mascarpone

Zest of one orange

2 tbsp of icing sugar


To make the shortbread

Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.

Lightly grate some zest from the orange onto a saucer but try to avoid the white pith.

Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add the cinnamon, sugar and orange zest.

Rub in the butter.

Bring the dough together and knead it lightly.

Place the dough on the baking tray and press or roll the dough into a round disc 1cm thick and cut out using a round biscuit cutter.

Place in the oven for 15–20 minutes until firm. Place on a cooling rack straight away to cool.

To make the mascarpone

Mix the mascarpone, icing sugar and orange zest together in a bowl ready to serve with the figs.

To make the roasted figs

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Cut a deep cross down into each fig, nearly to the bottom, then squeeze the sides of each fig to expose the juicy flesh. Place the figs into a lidded baking dish.

Drizzle over the honey and Marsala wine, ensuring some runs down inside the figs. Cover with the lid and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes (but keep an eye on them after about 15 minutes). You don’t want them to become mush!

Serve the figs immediately, drizzled with the sauce from the baking dish and a spoonful of mascarpone. Pop a couple of shortbread biscuits on the side and crumble a little shortbread onto the mascarpone if you desire.


This entry was posted in Baking, Biscuits and Cookies, Creamy Desserts, Desserts, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Roasted figs with honey and Marsala served with a dollop of zesty orange mascarpone accompanied by orange shortbread biscuits

  1. Pat Rolt says:

    We can vouch for the fact that the fig desert was indeed FABULOUS! Exceptionally juicy figs with just the right amount of sweetness provided by the honey. The shortbread biscuits were the perfect accompaniment. Perfect end to a perfect meal!

  2. mydearbakes says:

    Splendid! What a marvelous looking bake! =D

  3. revjean1 says:

    Enjoyed your blog…..haven’t tried the figs yet but we have a tree in the garden! Love from Jean Rolt……not really your grandma. But a fellow blogger!

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