Friday, November 15, 2013

as local as it gets: a tale of green figs

My new house came with a “Black Jack” fig tree, and by the end of August, the tree was full of figs, green unripe figs. A few turned purple and delicious by the end of September, but most stayed green, and hard. I had to pick them before the first frost. New England is not an ideal zone for fig cultivation.

When life gives you green figs, you make preserves! I found this very simple recipe from NY Times:

1 to 1 ½ pounds of unripe figs
2 ½ cups of white sugar
5 cups of water
6 whole cloves
1 organic lemon, peel removed in six longish strips
2 wide-mouth canning jars (1 pint each), sterilized

Easy ingredients, but time consuming, and hot! I steamed up the windows with all the boiling, and got a wicked steam burn. So if you ever follow the full recipe here, get a glass of wine, put on great music, and be careful not to singe your hands.

It was all worth it...

Breaking into the jar a week later, the preserved figs came out super tender, not too sweet, and oh so good on top of bread with butter. Plus they were infused with that extra goodness that comes from having picked my own fruit from the front yard. Can’t wait to do it all over again next year.