- Drain the figs, reserving the soaking liquid.
- Discard the stalk ends of the fruit and put them in a saucepan with the raisins and wine.
- Add the spices and a teaspoon of sugar and bring to the boil.
- Take off the heat and cool slightly, then turn the mixture into an electric blender and process until smooth.
- Add a little of the soaking water if the mixture is stubbornly solid.
- Cream the rice flour or cornflour with a little more soaking water or wine and brighten the tint with a drop of food colouring.
- Blend the "cream" into the dried-fruit purée.
- Then return the whole mixture to the saucepan and simmer until it thickens slightly.
- Season with salt and a little extra sugar if you wish.
- The mixture can be served hot or cold over a sweet cereal dish, firm stewed fruit or - best of all - ice cream.
- Some versions in other manuscripts are stiffer and make a good filling for tartlets or fried puffs.
- One encloses the filling in pastry to make dumplings.