Cuccidati and fresh figs
I have an abundance of fresh figs. And I would like to make cuccidati cookies but most of the recipes call for dried figs. I don't really want to take the time and space and ....whatever....to dry these figs. I'd much rather give them away unless I can use them fresh. And I have a bunch, they are nearly baseball size so they are huge. If someone has a recipep for cuccidati cookes I can use the fresh figs in I would really appreciate it. Or if you have any mouth drooling fresh fig uses, that would be good too. Thanks.
My abundance of fresh figs is nearly used up, but I have gone through two large bags of them in the last week. I've never made cuccidati, but I just looked at a few recipes and I would try cooking the figs down to make a sort of jam and then mixing that with the rest of the ingredients. You'd have to cook off a lot of the liquid (figs seem to have a surprising amount of liquid) and the consistency would be somewhat different, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.
That said, I have made several great fig discoveries this last week, as I have attempted to use them all before they go bad.
This fig cake (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/fresh-fig-cake/detail.aspx) is amazing. I added extra lemon juice and a vanilla bean to the filling (and extra sugar to balance the lemon), but otherwise made it as is. An incredibly moist, dense coffee cake. Keeps very well.
I also made a ton of fig jam and put the extra in the freezer. Just chopped the figs and put them in a pot with sugar, lime juice and scraped vanilla beans, adjusting everything to taste as I went. Cooked it for a couple of hours until it was all thick and jammy, and a few drops cooled thick on a frozen plate. I ended up running it through the blender too, because it was chunkier than I wanted, but I wouldn't have had to do that if I chopped my figs instead of quartering them in the first place.
The absolutely best thing I've done with figs so far, however, is roasting them with a chicken. I brined the chicken (I posted details in WFD #105, if you're interested), stuffed the cavity with garlic and fresh rosemary sprigs and put it in a roasting pan. I spread half a chopped onion around the chicken in the pan and nestled whole garlic cloves in with it. Then I layered on as many halved figs as would fit and sprinkled them lightly with sugar, salt and pepper. Then I tucked in a few more fresh rosemary sprigs and put the whole thing in the oven. The figs and onions caramelized and melted into the best pan sauce I've ever made. It was sweet and tasted like rosemary and made me want to walk the hour-and-a-half to the abandoned fig tree where I'd gotten all the figs, so I could make it again the next night.
I still have a few figs left, and half a plate of stale cornbread, and I think I might try some sort of fig-cornbread bread pudding tomorrow, based on this recipe here (http://circle-b-kitchen.squarespace.c...). I can't vouch for it, since I have yet to make it, but it looks good.