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Figs: No longer just for Newtons?

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Big Bad Voodoo Lou Aug 30, 2009 01:59 PM

I wasn't sure whether to post this in General Topics or Home Cooking, but here goes nothing. This week, Publix has figs on sale (buy one/get one free), and they had two varieties, Black Mission and Brown Turkey. Not knowing the difference, I bought a one-pound plastic container of each for a total of $5.99 -- still an indulgence by my standards.

I also picked up a little bit of thin-sliced prosciutto and much cheaper Publix brand serrano ham, as I've heard figs are good wrapped with salty cured meats. But do the figs need to be peeled, or can I just eat them whole? They seem like a real summery treat, but what else do people like to do with them?

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    tabru RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Aug 30, 2009 03:54 PM

    you can eat them whole but their skin is rough and can irritate your mouth

    1. blkery RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Aug 30, 2009 08:26 PM

      I've never heard of them irritating the roof of your mouth.

      Eat them whole when they're really squishy - they'd feel rotten if they were any other fruit. Push them to the limit, but not until they're dry.

      Seek out the Adriatic variety - it's a kind of green fig that tastes like raspberries, vanilla, and a bit of tobacco. Turkish, Kabota, and Desert King are the least flavorful varieties. Mission have a bit stronger caramel and vanilla notes.

      Figs are also one of those things that when they're good, they're great. Kind of like olive oil or great fish...they really stand alone. That said, I like them with mascarpone for breakfast, and you can never go wrong with a salty cheese.

      1. lynnlato RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Aug 30, 2009 08:34 PM

        I eat them whole (never had a problem w/ the roof of my mouth either). They are great sliced and served over a sweetened ricotta cheese w/ a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of toasted almonds. Stuff them with some gorgonzola, wrap in prosciutto and pop under the broiler for a minute or two.

        I just made a drunken fig jam that made me dance it was so damned good! I adore figs!

        2 Replies
        1. re: lynnlato
          blkery RE: lynnlato Aug 30, 2009 08:46 PM

          lynnlato, could i please get that recipe from you? i'm new to jam but would like to make some of these babies last (they're my favorite produce ever).

          1. re: blkery
            lynnlato RE: blkery Aug 30, 2009 08:53 PM

            You betcha. Let me know if it make you do the fig jam dance too. :)

            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            p.s. I halved the recipe and got a little more than two 8 oz jars.

        2. h
          HillJ RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Aug 31, 2009 11:52 AM

          Fig jam made me dance too! and sing, when topped on a homemade cheesecake!

          4 Replies
          1. re: HillJ
            lynnlato RE: HillJ Aug 31, 2009 12:12 PM

            Oooh, that sounds delicious! I love me some cheesecake - and topped w/ fig jam - SHUT UP! :)

            I was lovin' it with manchego on water crackers too.

            1. re: lynnlato
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              HillJ RE: lynnlato Aug 31, 2009 01:50 PM

              wanna die of fig delight lynnlato. Create a savory cheesecake by sub'ing 1/2 the cream cheese for manchego; add water crackers to a base crust and top with that fab fig jam. Gone to heaven good!

              1. re: HillJ
                lynnlato RE: HillJ Aug 31, 2009 02:42 PM

                SHUT YER FACE! *fainted*

                1. re: lynnlato
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                  TheHugsLady RE: lynnlato Sep 4, 2009 12:48 AM

                  I just LOVE being in the presence of fellow figophiles (or whatever we're called - lol)!!!!!!!!!!

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            CocoaNut RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Aug 31, 2009 03:33 PM

            I used to pick 'em and eat 'em straight from my grandmother's tree. Here is her recipe as my aunt now uses it - Niether of them measure anything, so the quantities are definitely approximate. But it's too easy not to try.... and oh so good on a weekend morning with toast and coffee. My aunt cans hers, but after opening, I've kept them in the cold part of the fridge for over a month with no problem. I like to make them stretch as long as possible!

            This is very subjective as it’s my grandmother’s recipe and as most grandmother’s cooked, she never measured. I don’t like overly sweet preserves and in spite of what seems to be a lot of sugar, they are not overly sweet. Serve with biscuits, toast, scones, etc. Use any remaining syrup for pancakes. I'm thinking they were mission figs - dark brown, maybe a little longer than an inch and about as big around. Grown on the coast in MS.

            1 gallon whole figs (washed)
            Dump in boiling water
            * Turn off heat and let figs set for 3-4 min
            Pour off water
            Add enough sugar to cover with about an inch of sugar (about 5 cups)
            Let set overnight to mascerate and make a syrup - do not add extra water

            Next morning, simmer figs and syrup (probably covered) until figs are softened (you want to be able to easily smash them on a plate with a fork) and syrup is desired consistency (thick or thin – remember as the syrup cools, it will thicken and become sweeter). At some point after sugar has completely dissolved, taste one of the figs with syrup to see if they are sweet enough. Make adjustments as needed.

            * This may be to eliminate any bitterness from cooking???

            1. s
              small h RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Sep 2, 2009 09:36 AM

              Figs, high end:

              http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/02/din...

              That's "pressed pork belly cut to resemble bacon," according to the article.

              1. ipsedixit RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Sep 2, 2009 11:40 AM

                I've got nothing to add except to say that I *love* Fig Newtons!

                1 Reply
                1. re: ipsedixit
                  b
                  bakinggirl RE: ipsedixit Sep 3, 2009 01:47 PM

                  If you're like me, and love Fig Newtons...try making them at home! King Arthur has a great recipe. It's a bit of a pain in the butt, but SO worth it. Plus with the whole wheat flour I don't feel as guilty.

                2. funklight RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Sep 2, 2009 11:53 AM

                  I'm planning on making these for a party this weekend:
                  http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/...

                  You can also make them into a dense cake that is great with various cheeses.

                  1. hyacinthgirl RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Sep 2, 2009 01:21 PM

                    Figs were cheap near me too. I sliced them, added a bit of prosciutto, manchego and a drizzle of honey on top of toasts for a nice party finger food.

                    The next morning, I sliced some figs, added honey greek yogurt and a bit of granola. It was absolutely deliciuos.

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