Filo baskets with honeyed figs

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  • Light but crunchy, filo makes a delicious case for fruit. A butter-honey glaze adds flavour and shine

    Makes 4

    5 ripe figs, halved lengthways 4 tbsp flower-scented honey 2 tbsp elderflower cordial 12 green cardamom pods, crushed open 50g salted butter, melted
    5 sheets filo pastry (about 140g) unrolled, covered 2-4 tbsp rosé or red wine 4 tsp icing sugar, optional

    Step 1) Set the halved figs, cut sides down, in a non-stick frying pan with 2 tablespoons of honey, the cordial and 2 tablespoons of water. Add the black seeds from four of the cardamom pods. Cook over a high heat for 1-2 minutes or until the figs are aromatic, slightly wilted and sizzling. Turn the figs over and leave to cool in their scented, sticky, honeyed juices. Spoon off 2 tablespoons and stir into the melted butter to make the pastry glaze.

    Step 2) Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4. Have ready a muffin tin, if possible lined with 4 silicon (non-stick) muffin moulds. Cut the filo sheets in half lengthways and then in half widthways, giving a total of 20 rectangles or squares, depending on the original shape of the sheets. Push 2 rectangles at a time, their points offset, into 4 muffin tin hollows. Repeat this until each hollow has 4 layers of pastry, firmly pressed into position; add a fifth and final layer, again offset. Bake these unbuttered baskets for 8 minutes towards the top of the oven.

    Step 3) Remove the baskets. Gently paint the scented honey and melted butter glaze mixture over them, then bake for 5 minutes more.

    Step 4) Turn off the oven but leave the pastries in. Remove the figs from the glaze. Halve each to give long segments and set 5, pointing upwards, into each warm pastry basket. Set each on a serving plate.

    Step 5) Reheat the remaining honey with the glaze for 2 minutes with enough wine to make a pink syrupy sauce. Drizzle some over the figs and the remainder around each basket (not shown). Add 2 open cardamom pods to each dessert, then dust with sieved icing sugar, if liked. Serve warm, or cool within 4 hours.

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