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Roast Figs and Plums in Vodka with Cardamom Cream

Roast Roast Figs and Plums in Vodka excerpted from Roast Figs Sugar Snow by Diana Henry.

Figs, of course, come from the Mediterranean, but, like spices such as ginger and cinnamon, we see them as a prime autumnal ingredient in northern kitchens. The appearance of their bloomy purple bodies is as much a sign that autumn has arrived as are Cox’s Orange Pippins and wild mushrooms. I like this pudding chilled, but you can serve it warm or at room temperature if you prefer. Replace the vodka with extra red wine if you feel this recipe is a little too boozy. The blackberries look gorgeous – like glistening, old-fashioned buttons – but if you can’t get them, use small seedless black grapes instead. Serve with ginger biscuits, either bought, or homemade Scandinavian pepparkakor.

Roast Figs and Plums in Vodka excerpted from Roast Figs Sugar Snow by Diana Henry.

Roast Figs and Plums in Vodka with Cardamom Cream

Diana Henry
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scandinavian
Servings 8 people


  • 16 fresh, firm figs
  • 12 firm plums
  • 1/4 pint (150ml) red wine
  • 3-1/2 fl oz (100ml) vodka, plus a little more to finish
  • 7 oz (200g) caster sugar
  • 6 tablespoons crème de cassis
  • 10-1/2 oz (300g) blackberries (if available), or seedless black grapes

To serve:

  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 9-1/2 fl oz (275ml) whipping cream, or double cream
  • icing sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (375°F), Gas 5.
  • Cut the figs in half lengthways, without slicing all the way through. Halve the plums and remove the stones. Put the figs and plums into a shallow, ovenproof dish that will hold the fruit in a single layer.
  • Mix the wine, vodka, 150g (5½oz) of the sugar and 4 tbsp of the cassis in a pan and heat, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Simmer until reduced by one-third, then pour it over the fruit. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top of the fruit.
  • Bake in the hot oven for 25–30 minutes. (If you are using grapes instead of blackberries, add them 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time.) The fruit should be soft, but not collapsing, and slightly caramelized on top. Let the fruit cool, then add the blackberries, if using. Pour a slug of vodka over the fruit and drizzle with the remaining 2 tbsp of cassis.
  • Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and grind them in a mortar, 
or in a heavy bowl using the end of a rolling pin.
  • Put the cream in a bowl, add the crushed cardamom and whip the cream, adding icing sugar to taste. Serve with the fruit.


Roast Figs Sugar Snow by Diana Henry (© 2023). Photographs by Jason Lowe. Published by Aster, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group.Recipe reprinted with permission from Roast Figs Sugar Snow by Diana Henry. Published by Aster, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group, 2023. Photography by Jason Lowe.
Keyword Blackberries, cardamom, Christmas, Diana Henry, Figs, Holiday, Plums, Red wine, Roast Figs Sugar Snow, Vodka

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