warm fig fruit salad in port wine

January 30, 2015
figs in port

This is such a quick, simple, sophisticated dessert. I’d be incredibly happy if I was served this in a posh restaurant. 

This warm fig fruit salad tastes like something from a classic French kitchen – the kind you stumble across in the country. With a Michelin star and a stone exterior. And a tasteful garden with lavender and herbs and a gorgeous old tree or two. Ivy climbing up the walls. A vineyard in the background. Perhaps a stone patio. Simple, black, wrought iron furniture. A beautiful umbrella for shade. Inside – a wood fire blazing and an ambience that only the layers of time can create. Crisp white linens. Candles. Limestone walls. Lovely china. Decent silver. Immaculate glasses. Respectful, quiet formal service. A menu that speaks of someone who loves, really truly loves food.

I discovered this recipe when I was making fig jam and kept tasting the jam as it cooked and reduced. At some point, I realized that it would work as a hot fruit salad. Or cold. Or warm. Any way that you choose to serve this, it works.

I served this warm with whipped cream because it’s incredibly cold here right now in the midst of Canadian winter. (As you can see below  – my beautiful dog Lola on frozen Lake Ontario.)

Lola on ice

Serve this however it suits you. A good vanilla ice cream would be nice. Atop shortbread would be good. Even on a slice of homemade sponge cake, topped with cream. You could try adding a drizzle of balsamic reduction. You could just eat in plain – straight out of the saucepan. It’s so fabulous you won’t be able to resist. The recipe is infinitely adaptable. Add more or less apple. More or less sugar. A bit of fresh ginger. Try honey, maple syrup. Pears. A bit of lemon or orange zest. Perhaps blackberries. Use Grand Marnier in place of the Port wine – or maybe just good vanilla essence.

I happen to love dried figs. I expect fresh would be even better but where I live, fresh figs are imported, expensive and rare. The great thing about this recipe is that between the pantry and the freezer – I have everything on hand all the time.

Warm fig fruit salad in port wine

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 2-200gram packages dried figs (I used Turkish figs)
  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled and cut in chunks (or use pears)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (not dried) cranberries
  • 1 cups water
  • 1/2 cup turbinado or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup port wine

Wash the figs, remove the stalks, and chop or snip in halves. Peel and chop the apples into chunks. Rinse the cranberries. Place the fruit, water, and sugar into a good-sized pot. Bring to the boil. Add the sugar. Simmer for about ten minutes minimum, stirring regularly until the apple has fallen, and the cranberries and figs have softened. It might take closer to twenty minutes depending on what temperature your simmer is. Add more water if it is looking too thick or dry.

Once the desired consistency is achieved and the fruit is soft but not yet melded entirely together into jam, remove from the heat and stir in the port wine. Serve as you like – hot, warm, or cold, along with whipped cream or ice cream, or a nice wedge of soft brie, etc.

fig salad in port


I’m late for the party but nonetheless posting this at Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener – where we are celebrating an incredible 52 weeks of blogging together.

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  • Reply Turmeric and Twine January 30, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Sounds delicious. Salad doesn’t seem like a fitting description of this dish since it is cooked. Maybe reduction would suite it more?

    • Reply love in the kitchen January 31, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Sure! Call it whatever you like. A rose by any other name….
      I had a hot fruit salad at a beautiful dinner party in Australia once and the memory lingers on. So hot fruit salad it is for me but I agree – people tend to think of vegetables when you mention salad. 😉

  • Reply First Fiesta Friday Anniversary (Part 2) | The Novice Gardener January 31, 2015 at 12:33 am

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  • Reply Jennifer Smeltzer January 31, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Sounds amazing… and LUB the photo of my alltime fave pooch!!

  • Reply thebrookcook January 31, 2015 at 7:06 am

    So elegant and fancy 🙂 I NEED fig jam now too!!! 🙂

    • Reply love in the kitchen January 31, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      Figs are just inherently elegant. And really – so easy to work with. I always have dried figs in my pantry now. And that jam – INCREDIBLE with a good brie.

  • Reply Nancy January 31, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Mmmm…I’ll take mine atop a sponge cake, please! I love how making fig jam led to this delicious dessert… it’s not only a beautiful color, but the simple flavors sound perfect! Thanks for sharing your recipe with all of celebrating the Fiesta Friday Anniversary. 🙂

    • Reply love in the kitchen January 31, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks Nancy! One piece of sponge cake topped with figs and port (and a little whipped cream on the side) coming your way…. 😉

  • Reply Hilda January 31, 2015 at 11:38 am

    We obviously share some of the same tastes. I use dried figs too because as you say that is what is available here. You have made such good use of them in this recipe. I usually just end up eating them out of the bag, but hope to restrain myself and follow this great recipe.

    • Reply love in the kitchen January 31, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Hilda! This made me smile. Save the figs!!
      Yes – I think we do share similar tastes. I must get over to your blog. I have two writing deadlines tonight but after that – more time again for living in the blogosphere. And I can’t wait to see what everyone is doing. Hope you are well and surviving the cold.

  • Reply Ginger January 31, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    They look amazing – I bet they work a treat in this cold!

  • Reply Stacey Bender January 31, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    So enticing any which way! It sounds as amazing as the picture of Lola!

    Eating out can be very disappointing when you are armed with the ability to do it just as well (and many times better/healthier/less expensive), especially if you are armed with the knowledge of the true workings of a commercial kitchen. I choose staying home most nights, over going out. I do love to be pampered sometimes and let someone else do the work.

    • Reply love in the kitchen February 1, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      Happy to see you Stacey!! I love to go out too. But sometimes it is not so much for the food as for the outing, the company, and the experience. We are lucky in Kingston to have a number of worthwhile restaurants. And I LOVE sushi – so that’s always a big yes for me. 😉

  • Reply Lori January 31, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    mmmm! This sounds yummy!

  • Reply Kitsch n flavours January 31, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Couldn’t help but notice this on FB. And you won’t be surprised as it includes figs! I’m fairly predictable. And must try this. The last time I cooked dried figs that batch eventually turned into spiced fruit chutney. Hah! Shame I don’t have cooking apples. Otherwise this would make a nice treat tomorrow. Hmm, I do have dark plums that need using up. Don’t think I’ve tried those with figs as yet. Don’t you love weekends.

    • Reply Kitsch n flavours January 31, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Oh, and I thought it was cold here! Seriously, that’s Lake Ontario?!

    • Reply love in the kitchen February 1, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      Johnny – I bet this would be a treat with plums. Yes, I do love weekends. And I spent a good portion of this one on the frozen water – Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Amazing. Temperature as I was driving home from yoga tonight started at minus 13 degrees C and was minus 17 by the time I got home ten minutes later. Brrrrr….

  • Reply spiceinthecity February 1, 2015 at 5:23 am

    Beautiful, just beautiful and elegant!

  • Reply milkandbun February 1, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Mmmm I can imagine how amazingly good it tastes! Looks beautiful! Love it!

  • Reply Johanne Lamarche February 1, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Simple yet classy and flavorful. Love figs and will try this!

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