Caramelized Figs [Food52] (Photo by Sarah Shatz)
Let's face it, we want to hang onto summer for as long as we can. As if giving us one last treat before the season says goodbye, figs are arriving to us just as the months come to a close. With their unique flavor and appeal, let's serve them properly and send summer out in style.
Figs are a small, round fruit that is grown from the bud of a flowering plant. They need warm weather for cultivation, and are at their ripest towards the end of the summer. With an edible skin and tiny edible seeds, they are easily recognizable and come in many varieties. Let's break down the two most popular types.
Choosing and storing:
A few things to keep in mind when shopping for and storing your figs: they are actually a pretty gentle fruit, and can easily be bruised and broken. But here's the catch -- if they appear a little aged, with a slightly bent stem, it's a good thing! All are signs that they're ripe and will yield sweeter results. But, be sure to avoid figs that look as if they have shrunk, or are releasing liquid from the stem or appear to be moldy. Store them in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days -- these fruits have a short shelf life, so get to cooking with them today!
Fig and Blue Cheese Savouries [Food52] (Photo by Sarah Shatz)
Ways to enjoy figs:
To help release the sugars from figs and make the most of their natural flavors, here are a few of the best ways to cook with them.
Chicken with Figs, Wine & Honey [Food52] (Photo by Sarah Shatz)
Fig and Anise Clafoutis [Food52] (Photo by Sarah Shatz)
Fresh Fig and Bacon Bruschetta with Burrata Cheese and Arugula
Grilled Manchego Cheese Sandwiches with Honey and Thyme Fig Jam
Roasted Figs in a Red Wine Cardamom-Infused Reduction with Vanilla Ice Cream [Food52]
Warm Prosciutto Figs Cambozola [Food52]
Drunken Honeyed Figs with Lemon Mascarpone Whipped Cream [Food52]
How do you like to enjoy figs? Share your comments below!
Like this post? See last week's From Scratch topic: All About Frozen Desserts.