Two fresh fig recipes: fig blueberry crisp and fig cookie bars!

It finally happened… the figs on our monster fig tree started to ripen! I tried two new recipes this year with figs that both turned out fantastic.

Fig and Blueberry Crisp

I basically followed this Food Network recipe with some slight modifications:

  • I used 3 cups blueberries and 3 cups figs and added a bit of lemon zest to the fruit mixture
  • I did not add nutmeg or pecans
  • I did add some ground ginger, probably about 1/2 teaspoon

Fruit mixture and topping:

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The final, delicious product:20160710_165231

Fig Cookie Bars

While the crisp was super easy to throw together, fig cookies bars (also called fig newtons) required more work, spread across two days for me. For the cookie part, I mostly followed this Fresh Fig Newtons recipe from Sugar Dish Me. For the jam in the middle, I looked around at a number of recipes and ended up using:

  • 2 lbs fresh figs, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. After the boil starts, reduce to a simmer and continue to stir / mash from time to time. After 45 min or so, the jam should be thickened.

Note: this jam did turn out quite sweet, so next time I’d reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup probably.

For the cookie part, I changed the Sugar Dish Me recipe by:

  • Reducing the butter – I used 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup applesauce
  • Omitting the orange zest – I didn’t have an orange and wasn’t sold on this anyhow.

The bars were a huge hit. If only they weren’t so much work!

Making jam:

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Finished jam:

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Finished cookie bar sheet:

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Mmmm… delicious!

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A most delicious fresh fig tart

 

 

Back when we had figs ripening like mad, I came across a recipe from Vegetarian Times for a Lavender and Fig Tart with Goat Cheese Cream, and oh man was it worth the effort. It was a super big hit at a party, the first food to completely disappear.

The only change I made was to use thyme instead of lavender, since we had that in abundance in our garden.

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The hardest part of the recipe was dealing with the puff pastry, something I had no experience with.

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After you bake it, you have to cut along the edges to create the crust and then press down the middle. It wasn’t too bad, but of course mine wasn’t as pretty as the magazine picture.

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We had on over-abundance of figs at the time, so I really loaded up the tart.

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The final step was drizzling with a sweetened balsamic and thyme mixture. I can’t wait to make this recipe again next year!FigTart-6

Fig, lemon and honey infused rum

I infused some Cruzan white rum with figs from our tree, lemon slices, and honey from our bee hive about 10 days ago. Tonight, I strained the mixture and made a drink.

The drink was the rum, Topo Chico, St. Germain, and a squeeze of lemon garnished with a lemon slice and some raspberries. Out of all the infusions I’ve made, this one may well be my favorite. Just in time for tiki week, too!image

Ginger fig cake recipe

I recently made quite the birthday meal for my husband, making two of our favorite recipes, and trying out two new ones. I made Food & Wine’s Roasted beets with pistachios, herbs, and orange, Smitten Kitchen’s Swiss chard and sweet potato gratin and Mushroom Bourguinon and this Ginger fig cake, adapted from Kitchen Konfidence. I made the recipe healthier and also added figs and we loved it, so here it is for others to love!

Birthday foods-5 Continue reading

Delicious fresh fig bread

In an effort to use more figs during this never-ending fig season, I tried a new recipe. Since I love banana bread, I looked for bread recipes that use fresh figs. I found a fig bread recipe on Renee’s Kitchen Adventures. It used almonds so I adapted it to remove the almonds, since I’m not a fan of nuts in baked goods. I also added lemon zest because in the fig crumble cake I like to make, lemon zest makes it awesome.
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The fig bread came out delicious, so I’m sharing the recipe of course.
To make 2 loaves, I used:
  • 3 cups all purpose flour + 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped brown turkey figs from my tree
  • Zest of 1 small lemon (next time, I will increase this to 1 small lemon per loaf)
  • 2 additional figs cut into 4 vertical slices to place on top of each loaf before baking, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare 2 loaf pans with your favorite method. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour through salt). Beat together eggs, applesauce, oil, vanilla, sour cream, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients in approximately 3 parts and mix just until combined, don’t over mix. Fold in the figs and lemon zest by hand. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans, and place four fig slices on each loaf. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Figs and zest:

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Batter:

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Ready to bake:

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Yum!

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Deliciously full of figs:

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Simple fig preserves

So it’s been a while, at least a few weeks, since I last blogged about figs. No worries though, because I made fig preserves for the first time with the last batch of ripe figs. I even canned them and everything. I usually shy away from canning but it seems to have worked out.

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After a bit of reading recipes, I decided I could make fig preserves with only a few simple ingredients:

How our garden grows

We made it a priority this year to get raised garden beds installed in our new back yard. And by “we” I mean that I planted a few plants, raked a bit of dirt around, moved two wheel barrows of dirt and mulched said plants. Someone else did the heavy lifting.

My husband constructed us three 4′ x 8′ raised garden beds out of cedar planks. They are about 12″ tall. Cedar is supposed to resist decay better than other types of wood. He then dug out the existing grass, leveled the ground a bit, placed cardboard in the bottom and filled them with dirt. Well, I helped with the cardboard too. Do you see how much work I did here?

We planted:

  • Eight tomato varieties
  • Two basil varieties
  • Two chards (one red, one yellow)
  • Five pepper varieties (jalapeño, bell, serrano, etc)
  • Three mounds of cucumbers
  • A row of okra seeds
  • A row of beans from seed
  • Marigolds from seed, to hopefully help keep the bugs away
Constructed garden beds, lined with cardboard

Constructed garden beds, lined with cardboard

Do you see the two wheel barrows of dirt I moved? And how I raked some of the dirt around?

Do you see the two wheel barrows of dirt I moved? And how I raked some of the dirt around?

The first bed has eight tomato plants in it, all different varieties.

The first bed has eight tomato plants in it, all different varieties.

The second bed has two basil plants, two chard plants, and five pepper plants, all of different varieties.

The second bed has two basil plants, two chard plants, and five pepper plants, all of different varieties.

The third bed has some tiny little cucumber plants and we're hoping to soon see some okra and beans sprouting.

The third bed has some tiny little cucumber plants and we’re hoping to soon see some okra and beans sprouting.

One of the peppers is already blooming!

One of the peppers is already blooming!

Molly guards the raised beds. Hopefully she scares away the birds, although it's more likely that the birds will scare her.

Molly guards the raised beds. Hopefully she scares away the birds, although it’s more likely that the birds will scare her.

Little tiny figs started to grow as soon as the fig tree got leaves.

Little tiny figs started to grow as soon as the fig tree got leaves.

Just a few days ago the figs were much larger!

Just a few days ago the figs were much larger!

 

 

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