A dishpan of figs - what to do with them?
- jmcarthur8 Jul 21, 2011 08:30 AM
My friend said yesterday that she had picked a 'dishpan' of figs and did I want half of them? Of course I said yes...I'm thinking dishpan, fits in half the sink, ok, I can use that many. She gave them to me last night and I think she uses a horse trough for a dishpan.
I could barely lift the bag out of the car, it must be 40 pounds of figs. We can eat some fresh, but there's only so many figs one can eat in a few days.
I need some good simple delicious fig jam recipes. Some of the homemade fig jam I've had has been so sweet and sticky, it's impossible to eat - and I usually make my jams with full sugar, not the low sugar recipes - these have been just too too sweet!
Looking around the internet, I saw several fig jam recipes with ginger and cloves in them. Anyone tried those? Do they take away from the fig flavor? I know I don't want to do preserves where you keep them whole, jam would be more useful for our family.
I have made both fig jam and pear jam (chutneys) using very little sugar and five-spice powder with outstanding results. Because the five-spice is so distinct, though, you might want to divvy the batches and vary the flavorings: do one with a gingery taste, one of just fruit touched with lemon, and one with another spice. Also consider fig butter, which is basically apple butter only with....ta da. You can make it in a crockpot, v. easily. And if you have an ice cream maker, consider fig ice cream, just for a treat.
If you're looking for another fig dish, try cutting them in half and putting into one big or many small casseroles. Top each half with blue cheese (I use Roquefort), some toasted walnuts and a small amount of proscuitto. Broil until the meat browns and the cheese melts. Great as is or on top of some greens dressed with walnut oil if available.
There's a fig and black pepper spread from Heidi Swanson's first cookbook, Super Natural Cooking, that's tasty and sort of different. Not sure it's intended for actual preserving, though. The directions say to keep it in the fridge.
It's not on her website (101cookbooks) but this link seems to be pretty close.
6 figs for $4.00 in my neck of the woods this week....I would love to have a friend like yours! Lucky you.
Fig, sweet onion marmalade would be my go to.
Cooking down just the figs into a syrup spread would keep for a while in the frig and enhance so many dishes and baked recipes.
I envy your surplus!
I make bacon jam pretty regularly and I think figs would be a WONDERFUL addition to it for a sweeter version. Google and you'll find tons of recipes. You could also dry some - you might not be able to get them dry enough at home (unless you have a food dehydrator) to be shelf stable, but they would keep in the fridge for quite a while.
Also, I make my Thanksgiving cranberry sauce with port and dried figs - the cranberries cut the sweetness and it is just divine. Perhaps you could try a reverse version with fresh figs and dried cranberries? Or dried sour cherries?
Thanks for all the great ideas. Fig season goes on for a while more. Some of these turned into fig wine before I could get to them, so I am keeping my eye out for another haul. And I will store those in the fridge. Wish I'd known that earlier!