Apples play a big role in Portuguese cuisine and a discussion on our remarkable varieties like Bravo de Esmolfe or Reineta is for another post… This dessert is seen in restaurant menus across the country all over the colder autumn and winter months. It features the quintessential Portuguese mix of sugar and cinnamon and a dash of Port wine to turn apples into an exquisite (and healthy!) dessert. Please do not feel tempted to serve this with cream or ice-cream. The sweetness of the apple with the syrupy juices formed in the tray are just right…
Figs in Syrup/Figos em Calda
Portuguese figs are a real treat in the summer when you can pick them off the tree alongside any country path… Different varieties excel in either taste, juiciness or sweetness. Figs are common all across Portugal and the Algarve region is particularly known for producing the best. This noble fruit (they say Louis XIV kept 700 fig trees in Versailles to supply the royal table) is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of salads to add sweetness and looks! The dried variety used for this recipe is easily obtained in most supermarkets but the quality of the figs is crucial for this to work. Here, a basic flavoured syrup is added to dried figs, making them rich with moisture and producing an excellent fig flavoured syrup. The combination of lemon peel and cinnamon is widely used in Portuguese deserts and produces a delicately spiced flavour. Figs in syrup are ideal as a topping for a special fruit salad or ice-cream, as a dessert garnish or just on their own!