Dried Figs and Apricots in Vanilla Wine Syrup

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is a simple dessert to make ahead. Keep it on hand for a quick fix of something sweet after dinner.

Makes4 to 6 servings



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationegg-free, peanut free, soy free, vegetarian

Mealbrunch, dinner

Taste and Texturecreamy, fruity, savory, spiced, sweet, winey

Type of Dishdessert


  • 1 bottle (750 ml) Gewtürztraminer or Johannisberg Riesling wine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 8 ounces dried Calimyrna figs (12 to 14 figs)
  • Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup packed) dried apricots (about 12 halves)
  • ½ cup crème fraîche, fromage blanc, or yogurt, optional
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sliced natural (unskinned) almonds, optional


  1. Combine the wine and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat to a boil over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean; add the seeds and the bean to the syrup. Add the figs and cinnamon sticks. Cook, covered, over mediumlow heat for 20 minutes: add the apricots and cook until the fruits are plumped and tender, about 25 minutes more.

  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla bean to a heat resistant bowl. Boil the wine syrup, uncovered, until it is reduced to about 2 cups. Pour the syrup over the figs and stir to blend.

  3. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours. Eat plain or with a spoonful of créme fraîche, yogurt, or fromage blanc on top. Garnish with almonds if desired.

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