Figs are one of my favorite fruits and I use them in many dishes. As soon as I see them available at the local markets, I make sure to pick some up and enjoy them while they are in season. Fig preserves and fig jams are great to have on hand for whipping up easy appetizers. Paired with goat cheese, fig preserves help create a savory treat that will impress your guests. This past weekend I saw a recipe for fig preserves in the July/August 2011 issue of the magazine, Cooking With Paula Deen, and decided to give it a whirl. I am proud to say the preserves came out great and I gave a few jars to friends. Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy!
Fig Preserves (recipe courtesy of Cooking With Paula Deen, July/August 2011)
- 8 cups fresh figs, stems removed (I used Black Mission)
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
In a large Dutch oven, add figs, sugar, water and lemon slices. Stir well and be sure all of the sugar has dissolved into the water.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 50 minutes or until a thick syrup forms. Remove and discard lemon slices. Mash figs with a potato masher to desired consistency.
Cool to room temperature. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
The preserves came out fantastic and the recipe yielded enough to fill 6 1/2 pint mason jars. I kept two for myself and gave the rest to friends.
There are many things you can do with fig preserves and one of my favorites is to make crostini (“little toasts” in Italian). I brush pieces of thinly sliced baquette with olive oil and broil until toasted. I then top then with goat cheese, prosciutto, fig preserves and a fresh basil leaf. They are amazing! Since I didn’t have anyone coming over, I made mini-crostini with the fig preserves and goat cheese. Instead of using bread, I substituted rusks, which are basically small pieces of twice-baked bread. My dad recently sent me a package of rusks from the Beehive Cheese Company in Utah and they paired well with goat cheese and the fig preserves. Delizioso!
I now have a new hobby and look forward to sharing my adventures of making jams and preserves with all of you!
Ciao for now,