Oh my golly. Harvest time has certainly arrived here. Big time. No sooner had I turned all those wonderful blackberries into jam (and a beautiful pie), the figs have started streaming in. Huge big shopping bags full!
Two different neighbours have fig trees, so these are fresh from the tree, and have no food miles whatsoever.
My favourites are the Brown Turkeys, but mostly we are given, very generously, a green skinned Conadria.
What to do with so many figs? We still have fig jam left from last year, but our supply of sugared figs has almost ended. This is a recipe I clipped years ago, and use it every second year without fail.
4kg fresh figs
4kg white sugar
3 lites water
Dissolve sugar in the water and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, add the figs and simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally until the figs are cooked but not mashed. Drain and place on wire racks and heat in a very slow oven (75C) for several hours to dry slightly. When figs are dried, roll in castor sugar and pack in an airtight container.
This keeps forever. At least two years. I store mine in an earthenware crock, covered in sugar, and fish out a fig when the fancy takes me. These are delicious served with a cheese platter, or chopped and mixed through homemade muesli. Or in cakes. Or muffins. Whatever really.
As you can see, the recipe is pretty time consuming, and I do inwardly sigh a little when those bags of figs start arriving. But I can't waste them. Their season is so short, and they are terribly perishable. Today's figs came straight from the tree ( I saw them being picked) and already they are showing signs of deterioration. Figs that I received only two days ago have perished completely (but not before I made a fig, gorgonzola and prosciutto pizza and ate a lot with my morning coffee).
The other reason why I have been so busy, is these little treasures. Samples for my shop.
Hopefully I will have a spare few moments this week to stop and breathe, but already its shaping up to be another busy one.