Friday, September 2, 2011

Figs are not just for Newtons!

Up until yesterday, the only fig I've ever eaten was mixed with sugar and chemicals in the form of a certain cookie bearing its name. So yesterday, when my massage therapist offered me some white figs from her tree(in farm country, everyone has a garden or fruit tree), I thought..okay, why not? I'm adventurous enough.

I always give new fruits and veggies the "raw" test, by giving it a quick smell, cutting it open, and taking a small bite. My first impression of this fig was "Cool! Looks like a sea anemone!" It's green and squishy and has tentacle like insides. That was the science geek in me talking. Then my rational self took over...I would never eat a sea anemone.

I knew from the Fig Newtons, you were supposed to eat the seeds, since that is really the only thing in a fig newton that looks like it came from a fig; so I cut open this creature-like fruit and drug my teeth along the inside to scrape out the seeds and pulp. Not bad! Great texture! Then I ate the skin...also not bad! So why hadn't I ever thought about picking these up at the store before?

Got home from work early today (rare occurrence) so I thought I would play around with these figs a bit and wound up making one of the best things I've ever had. I made the most delicious fig jelly ever...Seriously, suck it Nabisco. It's really versatile too, right now I'm eating it with homemade tortilla chips and cream cheese, but it would also be good on toast, served with Brie and crackers, topping for Greek yogurt or ice cream, and probably 50 bazillion other options. I wish I had my own tree though because I only had enough to make about 1/2 pints not enough to can. :(

Here's the simple recipe:

Decadent White Fig Jam-Makes about 1/2 pint

12 white figs- finely chopped
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2Tbsp butter
Juice from 1/2 a lemon

Throw your figs in a food processor, or chop really fine. Meanwhile melt some butter in a pan. Add pureed fig, lemon juice and sugar to pan and cook on medium heat until it achieves a golden color (about 15 minutes) Let cool. and serve with cream cheese and homemade flour tortilla chips.