We based the recipe for this sweet and sour gastrique on one from chef Stephen Kalt of Fornelletto in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The syrup is an ideal accompaniment to grilled quail or roast duck.
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, quartered
- 6 fresh or dried figs
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground fennel seed
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground white pepper
- 1⁄2 cup honey
- 6 tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh orange juice
- Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add figs; cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices; cook until fragrant, 1—2 minutes. Add honey and vinegar and cook, stirring, until the mixture reduces to syrup consistency, about 20 minutes. Stir in orange juice, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low; cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 hour. Remove pot from heat. Set a strainer over a small bowl. Strain sauce, scraping with a rubber spatula; discard solids. To serve, let sauce come to room temperature; serve it spooned onto 4 serving plates of quail or duck, if you like. Sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.