Changing Course: Roasted Fruit with Honey, Pomegranate Molasses, and Port

Three and a half years of writing, thinking, and talking about food nearly every day has transformed me. I’ve always been adept at menu planning – matching flavors of the main course to sides and to the preferences of the diners, all while factoring in logistics of preparing multiple dishes at the same time. But I was a slave to the recipes that I found, assuming whoever wrote them had to know more about recipe rendering than I did, so I better not mess with it. I still believe that many recipes should be prepared, for the first time, as they are written, knowing how much effort and expertise the author put into creating it. But now I also know that a recipe can be a springboard for change to suit your own palate or maybe just to use up an overflowing fruit basket. It’s liberating to veer off the road occasionally. You may reach a dead-end, waste a bit of time, and have to turn around but sometimes you find another path that’s just as lovely as the original route.

Roasted Fruit

In August, Carol Sacks from the blog InMediasRecipe posted about roasting figs, using a recipe from a tried and true source of brilliant food, David Lebovitz. It was wonderful just the way it was presented. I was intrigued by the figs, the sensuous scent of orange and thyme perfuming the fruit, and especially the idea of roasting the little gems. I grew up eating stewed fruit – cooked in a pot with a bit of juice or water added and some sugar and honey. A real comfort food that my daughter now relishes just as much I do. But the idea of elevating that concept by roasting the fruit captured my attention. Sort of a crisp without the topping.

Roasted Fruit

Not to mention, my fruit basket was also overflowing. So instead of just figs, I used grapes, nectarines, peaches, and pluots. And because I knew that my Tasting Jerusalem community would be cooking with pomegranate molasses in September, I wanted to experiment with the ingredient. And, well, the port on our bar counter was shouting at me from across the room and I just couldn’t ignore that sweet, savory, syrupy scream.

Roasted Fruit

When I put a picture of the roasted fruit on Facebook, paired with some yogurt and granola, the requests for the recipe came rolling in. My variation is below but be sure to head over to Carol’s blog and David’s blog to read their posts and view their photos. A little recipe research will only build your confidence so you can create your own version of this roasted fruit.

Roasted fruit

photo inspired by Carol Sacks

If you celebrate the Jewish holidays, this is a perfect dish to prepare for breaking fast after Yom Kippur. You can make it ahead, it uses honey which is symbolic for a sweet new year, and it would be a lovely side dish to serve with an all dairy meal like blintzes or bagels, lox, and cream cheese. Also perfect for your dessert table, sitting beside a luscious honey or apple cake.

Are you a recipe follower or do you often chart your own course, with the recipe as a starting point?

4.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Fruit with Honey, Pomegranate Molasses, and Port
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Inspired by a roasted fig recipe from David Lebovitz, recently written about by Carol Sacks of the blog InMediasRecipe, I created a variation by adding stone fruits and grapes, pomegranate molasses, and port. It's simple to put together, can be made ahead of time, and is perfect for breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dessert. The amount of each type of fruit is approximate, you can vary the quantities of each based on what you have at hand.
  • 1 tablespoon of blood orange olive oil (or regular)
  • 14 - 18 fresh figs (about 1 lb) - any type you have, stem removed and halved from stem end
  • 1 or 2 pluots or plums, sliced into 8 pieces
  • 1 or 2 peaches or nectarines, sliced into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup of red grapes (approx.)
  • 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoons of port
  • 1.5 tablespoons of honey (2 if you like sweeter, 1 for less sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • zest of ½ an orange
  • 4 or 5 thyme sprigs - rosemary might be nice also
  1. Wash and slice the fruit.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 convection roast or 400 regular bake.
  3. Grease a 9 X 13ish baking pan with a dab of olive oil, blood orange if you have any.
  4. Lay the figs flat side down in the baking pan and scatter the rest of the fruit around the figs.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the pomegranate molasses, honey, port, orange zest, and brown sugar.
  6. Pour the molasses mixture all over the fruit. Lay the thyme sprigs on top. Cover with foil and put in the oven for 10 minutes*. After 10 minutes, loosen the foil but leave it on and bake for another 10 minutes. Then take the foil off, slosh some of the pan juices on the stone fruit slices if they are a bit dry then let it cook for 5 more minutes. Check and cook for 2 more minutes if needed. Fruit should be bubbling and just starting to turn a bit dark on the edges. A minute less or more will not matter. Remove from oven and let cool before devouring or putting in a container and saving in the refrigerator.
Excellent eaten alone, with ice cream, on yogurt, with granola. You get the idea.
    * I used convection when I cooked this both times - if you don't have convection or prefer not to use it, add 3 - 5 minutes to the cooking time at each 10 minute foil stage. You're looking for the juices to have emerged and to start vigorously bubbling when the foil comes off. Each oven is so different, that it's best to look for visual cues than to follow exact times, whether using convection or regular bake.


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      17 Responses to Changing Course: Roasted Fruit with Honey, Pomegranate Molasses, and Port

      1. sarene (fringefood) September 13, 2013 at 9:34 am #

        Love it, Beth! Excited to see you diving into recipe experimentation–a whole new world of flavors awaits!

        • Beth Lee September 16, 2013 at 11:39 am #

          Thanks to so many food friends like you, my confidence continues to grow!

      2. Rose September 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

        Beth the looks simple and delicious. I am not all all surprised that you had many requests for the recipe from that picture. I want to try this too.

        • Beth Lee September 16, 2013 at 11:40 am #

          And I bet you will put your own unique spin on it and come up with another great result. Let me know!

      3. Deb September 13, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

        I also enjoy the inspiration another recipe or ingredient can add to my my culinary knowledge! Cooking should be fun! Roasting fruit is just as appealing as roasting vegetables and your sumptuous fruit is just phenomenal!

        • Beth Lee September 16, 2013 at 11:45 am #

          Deb – you are one of the many who have inspired me – I look forward to the day that we cook together in the same kitchen and not just support each other online! But until then, I will continue to enjoy our virtual conversations!

      4. Tamara Coleman September 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

        I’ve been seeing & hearing a lot about people roasting fruit lately 🙂 I’m going to have to give it a GO!

        • Beth Lee September 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

          Let me know what you think Tamara. I bet you’ll come up with another interesting combination.

      5. Hannah September 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

        Beth, this roasted fruit is calling out to me! I love that you added pomegranate molasses and port for more fruity, rich flavor. A crisp without the topping is a terrific description. Your photo with the yogurt and granola is quite tempting, too!

        • Beth Lee September 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

          This fruit made a great side for blintzes at break fast as well 🙂

      6. Carol Sacks September 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

        Thanks for the shout-out, Beth. Your roasted fruit looks lovely!

        • Beth Lee September 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

          Thanks Carol – always appreciate the inspiration.

      7. Michelle | DailyWaffle September 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

        Over yogurt, so healthy! I bet the roasted fruit would be just gorgeous over vanilla ice cream or olive oil cake. Too many great options!

        • Beth Lee September 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

          Haven’t tried the olive oil cake yet but great idea. And I can tell you first hand that it is excellent on vanilla ice cream 🙂

      8. Couscous & Consciousness October 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

        Simply divine, Beth. I love the intensity of flavour that comes from roasting fruit – roasted stone fruit and berries with homemade vanilla ice cream is one of my favourite late summer desserts. I love that you added pomegranate molasses to the fruit though – I’ve never thought of that – it’s inspired.

        I’m definitely a person who likes to use a recipe for inspiration rather than follow it to the letter. It’s rare for me to follow a recipe too closely, unless it’s a particular cuisine I’m not very familiar with and I’m not really sure what it should taste like.


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