Tama's Appetizer of Figs Stewed in Red Wine

Serve these fig tarts and everyone will want the recipe.

Servings: Makes about 2 dozen pieces

Cook Time: 1 hour plus

Pair With: This recipe will pair with a wide range of wines; best with Pinot Noir or the same wine used to stew the figs.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor


Ingredients For the Stewed Figs:

1/4 pound dried figs (approximately 1 dozen)

1/2 bottle good red wine*

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup or more water

Ingredients For the Appetizer:

Stewed figs

approximately 3/4 cup goat cheese

12 or more frozen mini tart shells (or make them from scratch)

one walnut per appetizer


*Use a red wine that tastes good! Any off flavors in the wine will show up in the stewed figs.


Directions For the Figs Stewed in Red Wine:

Cut the figs in half and put into a heavy bottomed saucepan or crackpot with the wine, cinnamon, nutmeg and honey. Add enough water to cover the tops of the figs. Bring to a boil, then turn down immediately to the lowest setting and simmer for hours until the sauce is thick as syrup, stirring occasionally. This can take 1 to 4 hours on the stove or up to eight hours in a crock pot, depending on the heat used. Using a crock pot insures that you will not burn the figs--bring the mixture to a boil in a saucepan, then transfer to a crock pot and let cook with the lid off.

Directions For the Appetizer:

Bake the mini tart shells according to instructions. Spoon a tablespoon of goat cheese into each one, top with a stewed fig, then a walnut.


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Chef's Notes:

Reserve the cooking syrup left over from stewing the figs to drizzle on ice cream or to top a to-die-for pear salad.