Figs Poached in Zinfandel with Mascarpone Cream

Paul Rankin's indulgent dessert of luscious figs poached in a wine sauce and served with mascarpone cream is a dinner party special
By Paul Rankin
Figs Poached in Zinfandel with Mascarpone Cream
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus overnight infusing
  • Effort: easy



  • 750 ml full bodied red wine
  • 350 ml water
  • 350 g sugar
  • 2 slices lemons
  • 2 slices oranges
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 12 figs
  • 200 ml whipping cream
  • 200 g mascarpone
  • 80-120g caster sugar
  • biscotti, to serve


1. Pour the wine into a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and boil to reduce by half.

2. Add the water, sugar, lemon and orange slices, and the vanilla pod. Bring back to the boil.

3. Lower the figs gently into the liquid. Place a piece of greaseproof paper directly on top of them and poach over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the figs to cool in the syrup.

4. Drain the figs, reserving the syrup. Pour the syrup back into the pan and put the figs in a bowl.

5. Bring the syrup back to the boil. Cook until reduced by half again to give a more intensely flavoured sauce. Pour the reduced syrup back over the figs and leave to cool. Cover and leave to infuse in the fridge overnight.

6. Lightly whip the cream until soft peaks form.

7. Put the marscapone cheese in a bowl and work with the back of a wooden spoon to soften. Fold in the whipped cream using a metal spoon, and sweeten to taste with the sugar.

8. Warm the figs through in a pan but do not let them boil.

9. To serve, place three figs on individual serving plates. Pour over a little sauce and add a good dollop of marscapone cream. Serve with biscotti.

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