12-14 fresh figs, firm but ripe
½ a vanilla pod or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
200 grams crème fraîche
finely grated zest of ½ an orange
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brandy
juice of 1 orange
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Cut a cross in the top of each fig, slicing halfway down so that the sides open like petals. Gently squeeze the base to open them out so the figs will sit flat. Place the figs in a baking dish.
Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds with a tip of a knife. (Ignore this step if using extract).
Combine the crème fraîche, orange zest and vanilla seeds or extract in a bowl.
Drizzle the centre of each fig with ½ teaspoon each of honey then brandy and top with a teaspoonful of crème fraîche.
Cut the vanilla pod into thin strips and place in the base of the dish and pour in the orange juice. Bake for 25-30 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until the figs are soft but not collapsing. Cooking time will depend on the size and ripeness of the figs.
To serve: The figs are best served warm. Reheat if making ahead of time. Serve the remaining crème fraîche in a separate bowl.