I bought some dried Figs and Almonds in Sta. Iria Fair and decided to roast some of them in the typical Algarve´s fashion. In Portuguese, we call this regional specialty "Figos Cheios".
In a Portuguese typical Christmas table it´s a "must" to have nuts, dried figs and raisins. This is easily explained because Portugal produces some types of nuts, specially Almonds, walnuts and Chestnuts which are collected during Autumn season. We also produce figs and grapes and letting them dry to be eaten during winter is a way of preserving the surplus fruits.
We even have a tradition of eating 12 small raisins at midnight in New Year´s Eve and request a wish for each raisin.
"Figos Cheios" are easy to make and I love the flavors´combination. They combine perfectly with coffee and a Portuguese Liquor or Porto Wine. Here´s how I do it:
~ Dried Figs
~ Yellow Sugar
~ Cinnamon in powder
1. Take some dried figs, make a small cut on top and fill each one with a few almonds (with the brown first skin). Depending on the fig´s size, each one can take three to six almonds inside. You just need to press each almond vertically and gently.
2. Fill the space in between the almonds with a little bit (1/2 teaspoon) of yellow sugar and cinnamon, previously mixed. Close the figs by pressing the top a bit and display them in a tray.
3. Take to medium oven (160ºC) for about 20/30 minutes.
When the sugar is melted and starts bubbling, it´s time to switch off the oven and take the figs out because you don´t want them too much roasted.
Let the figs cool before serving and enjoy :)
Figos Cheios last long. Preferably, keep them in a glass pot without a lid.