Sunday, July 26, 2009

the fig post

the fig post
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Every year I have a glut of figs. We eat them fresh by themselves, with goat cheese, dry them, blend them with butter and honey, turn them into pizzas/tarts, freeze them to pop in oatmeal in the winter, mash them with good vanilla icecream, and this year, I made fig sorbet.

I looked around on the internets and combined several recipes to come up with this:

1 lb of figs, trimmed
4T honey (local is best, light is better than dark)
the juice of one lemon (this, unfortunately, is essential for color and flavor)
2T each rose and Mathilde raspberry liqueur (you could use something else, like port, red wine, etc. but the alcohol keeps it from becoming a brick in the freezer)
almost 2 c water

Briefly cook figs with honey and smash them up. Add the zest of your lemon and the water. Puree with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender). Add your chosen alcohol. You'll notice with some disappointment that your mixture is the color of gravy. And the taste is somewhat flat. Add your lemon juice and change all that. The color perks back up, as does the flavor.

Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to its directions. If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour it into a loaf pan, cover, and stir every half hour or so.

Most people would make fig preserves, but they're too too sweet for me. I much prefer a savory treatment (you'll find a basic recipe under the fig tart photo- I make this at least twice each brief fig season, for any potluck we might attend or for our church's hospitality hour), but the sorbet may change my mind.

If you didn't buy your house based on the fact that it had the biggest fig tree you've ever seen in its backyard, you could use black mission figs that are sometimes available in gourmet markets. Or if you're down south, you could make friends with someone who has a fig tree. I know I'm happy to share.


Jessica said...

I'm going to have to go on a fig hunt after reading this post. I'd love one good fig right now.

erica said...

I wish we lived closer, Melissa, as I adore figs and am always a little disappointed with what I can find in our markets here. I need to put a 'personal ad' in the paper to make friends with a fig tree owner!

helmetnona said...

I watched a PBS special called 'Silence of the Bees' last night. They're mighty important insects. Without them, no fig trees would get pollinated. Check it out.

tara said...

a glut of figs may just possibly be one of my three genie wishes. yum.

Colleen/FoodieTots said...

It's a life-long dream of mine to own a home with a fig tree! Now I just hope I can remember this post when I need it. :)

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how jealous I am reading this post - I love figs and don't have a local source for them here in CT. I've heard that people can grow certain varieties of figs even up here, but I'm skeptical somehow.... there has to be a way to get them! Your recipe is begging to be eaten.