Fresh Figs - what to do
My landlord is the sweetest man, and just gave us about a dozen figs from the yard. I'm not a big fig fan, so I'm not sure what I can do with them. I was wondering if I could make a fig jam with that small of a quantity. I'm having a brunch on sunday and thought that might be nice on some scones.
Lucky you! I bet you could make a fig compote pretty easily - just cook the figs down with a little liquor and some sugar.
I like to do grilled figs. I brush them with a little oil, sprinkle on some sugar (depending on how sweet the figs are to begin with), then grill them until they're a bit caramelized. I serve them for dessert with a dollop of creme fraiche.
Lucky you, all my landlord ever brings me is heartbreak. What a nice gift. Fresh figs are kinda rare and pricy where I am (Brooklyn).
I don't know what variety of figs you have or the weight, you may have about 1 1/2 to two cups total, but you could definitely make a small batch of fig jam or preserves, and just keep it in the frig instead of processing (canning) it. The simplest recipe I have has sugar, fresh lemon juice, lemon or orange, fresh ginger and a cinnamon stick, no pectin or anything else.
For 2 lbs of stemmed halved figs, combine two lbs of sugar with the juice from one large lemon, add the figs and let set for an hour or so to macerate, then add the cinnamon stick and one 1 inch slice of fresh ginger, tied in cheesecloth, one thinly sliced, deseeded lemon; bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring often, until you can do the spoon test, or it's thick enough for your taste. Weight of figs should equal weight of sugar, or if you're using volume measurement, it should be 1:1. You can sub a thinly sliced orange for the lemon, and add some grated orange peel, but be sure to use the lemon juice.
Alternately, a nice fresh fig tart may be a great brunch dessert, quartered or halved and arranged in a baked tart shell filled with a orange scented pastry cream and glazed with a little sieved apricot jam or melted apple jelly. Mm, sounds good, but the jam is probably less work.
I had a friend who had a fig tree in his backyard here also, so I guess they winter over ok; he used to wrap the tree with burlap. I had an apricot tree here too, until it blew over in a strong storm.
Supermarkets in my current neighborhood don't know what figs are, I swear. Fort Hamilton is quite aways from where I am, but thanks for the info. I could probably get them downtown, maybe at the famer's market.
The grilled figs sound pretty enticing. I'm gonna have to try that one!
Still, probably my favorite way to enjoy fresh figs though is very simply...either on their own or wrapped with a paper thin slice of prosciutto.
The fig jam is so easy to make - follow the recommendations of the commenters above. One of my favorite appetizers is crostini with a smear of fig jam (I put a splash of port in mine), with a slice of apple and a slice of parm on top. That may be good for your brunch!