Behold, the humble fig. ‘Tis the season here in AZ and other parts of the country. As part of my “Know your neighbors, and what they grow” campaign, my wonderful ‘Fig Neighbor' has offered up a glorious bounty from their treasure-laden tree.
The fig is very unpretentious, not like the cherry-red shiny apple, kind of alike a lady with bright red lipstick, or the blond Rainer cherry, standing tall with its stem and shy-but beautiful blushed coat.
Here is how I use this seasons bounty of figs. Buy them up in large quanitites when they are on sale and make lots of things!
- 3 lbs ripe figs (stems trimmed off)
- 1 lb sugar (by weight)
- ½ cup water
- Juice of two lemons
In a deep stock pot place figs, sugar, water and lemon juice. Cover and on medium high heat bring to a simmer. After about 5-minutes, smash the figs down with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook for another 10-minutes. Turn off the heat, and using an immersion (hand) blender, carefully blend the figs until a smooth jam forms (some chunks ok.) Ladle this into clean glass jars.
(Note: you can use a blender in batches, in lieu of immersion blender, but be careful, the jam is HOT).
Low Sugar Fig JamAn alternative to standard fig jam, which has a fair amount of sugar, try this one; pure fruit, enhanced by citrus, with natural honey for sweetness.
- 20 or so fresh figs, stems removed, and cut in half
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 1/4 cup honey
Dried figs (make honey-soaked figs)
Trim stems and half figs. Give them a stint overnight in your food dehydrator. Once completely cool, store in glass jars in your pantry.
As for the bounty of figs in general, here is how I enjoy them:
- Jam on a gluten free cheese flavored cracker
- Honey-soaked figs on yogurt
- Turkey and mozzarella panini with fig jam or fresh sliced figs
- Fig spread
Mix ½ cup fig jam with 4 oz goat cheese until blended. Use as a spread on sandwiches, toast, or as a cracker spread or dip at your next party
- Fresh: Take a bite, dip in brown sugar, take a bite—repeat.