RECIPE: Figs Poached in Spicy Ginger Syrup



Bluedot Living will regularly run recipes and tips from Pascale Beale, the popular Santa Barbara-based chef, teacher, and cookbook author.

Beale has long been a proponent of cooking with in-season ingredients. “Every season has its own stars, I believe it’s worth waiting for them,” Beale told Bluedot contributing editor Catherine Walthers in this conversation.

She is also passionate about using every last bit of food in your pantry, and in her regular cooking classes (available online), she stresses to make the most of what you’ve already got. “There is so, so much food waste,” she told Walthers. “Learn to make the most of leftovers, the carcass from a roast chicken kept to make stock for example. I like to do something called a TDF (Tour de Frigidaire), something made out of all the little bits and pieces left in the fridge.”

This recipe first appeared in Beale’s cookbook, Les Fruits: Savory and Sweet Recipes From the Market Table, where she wrote: 

Elizabeth David, the excellent British food writer, wrote in her book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, “To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean.” I am very fortunate to live in such a climate and the arrival of figs in the market is one of my favorite summertime treats. There is something quite exotic about them, their plain exterior hiding the lush and succulent fruit within. They are rich in flavor, moist and pair wonderfully well with savory and sweet dishes alike. I love the marriage of a soft creamy cheese or crème fraîche with some fresh figs. Here is a summer dessert in honor of that “exquisite pleasure.”

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Figs Poached in Spicy Ginger Syrup Recipe

RECIPE: Figs Poached in Spicy Ginger Syrup

  • Author: Pascale Beale
  • Yield: Serves 8


Units Scale
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1/4 cup crystalized ginger — chopped
  • 16 white figs
  • 8 black figs

For the mascarpone crème fraîche:

  • 6 oz crème fraîche
  • 8 oz mascarpone
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. Place the sugar in a saucepan with the water, lemon, cardamom pods, cinnamon and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves completely, about 5 minutes.
  2. Carefully place the figs in the syrup and slowly bring the liquid back to a boil. As soon as the syrup boils, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the figs cool in the warm syrup.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the mascarpone crème fraîche. This mixture will keep refrigerated for at least 24 hours.
  4. Place 3 figs in each shallow bowl or ramekin and serve with a dollop of the mascarpone crème fraîche.

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Pascale Beale
Pascale Beale
Pascale Beale grew up in England and France surrounded by a family which has always been passionate about food, wine, and the arts. She was taught to cook by her French mother and grandmother. After graduating from Business School in London, and 15 years working in the property markets in California, she returned to her first passion, cooking. She opened the Pascale’s Kitchen Cooking School in 1999 which specializes in farmer’s market tours, seasonal cooking classes, bread making workshops and team building events. Her company also brings a range of culinary products, including her signature line of custom blended herbs and spices, oils and vinegars, kitchen and tableware, to its customers, making cooking pleasurable, delicious and fun. Pascale is also the author of 10 Mediterranean style, and ingredient focused cook books and is an award winning columnist for Edible Santa Barbara. She released her latest book, 9’ x 12’: Adventures in a Small Kitchen, Recipes for Stirring Times, a subscription based, multi-media book 9 x 12 | Pascale's Kitchen | Pascale Beale | Substack in January 2023.
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