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Feasting on figs

Making money

  • This isn't really a money saving idea, but a money making one.  If you have an over productive fig tree, pick a big basket, take to your local market and sell them there, or even just sell bags from your front gate.  I'm a bit of a foodie and would love to be able to get fresh ripe figs in season, but we only rarely see them for sale here.- A.G., Masterton.

Recipes, figs

  • In the reserve nearby we collect lost of figs. I pickle them. They can be served as a dessert with whipped cream OR with cold meat, OR with cheeses, which is my favourite.( I make my own cheese.) To pickle the figs you need: 3 cups red wine vinegar, 1 kg brown or raw sugar, 2 tablespoons cloves, 1 tablespoon crushed ginger, 4 kg figs (firm). Bring all ingredients to the boil. Gently place the whole figs in bottling jars and top up with the liquid.

    When ready to serve, I cut the figs I need into pieces and put them in a small shallow pan. I then slosh the pieces with red wine or elderberry (I make my own) and add 2 tablespoons brown sugar, then bring to the boil until it is think and sticky. Cool and serve with blue cheese and crackers or sourdough bread. Yum!

    Because we live in Marlborough Sounds we make everything. Bread, cheese, salami, pickles, jam, fruit (preserves), wine, medicines. I can serve a banquet at very little cost. - Annette, Marlborough Sounds.

    Lots of figs this year, (if I can beat the birds and chooks!). One of my favourite ways to eat them is cut in half, a drizzle of honey a small piece of blue vein cheese and grilled for about 10 mins! - M Hope, Hastings.

  • Fig recipe. You will need.

    • 3-4 cups sugar

    • 2 cups water

    • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Boil till syrupy. Put in clean ripe, but not over-ripe figs (leave stalk on), and simmer for two and half  - 3 hrs. Drain. Dry in sun or low oven. Pack in bags and freeze. Delicious in sandwiches, with crackers and cheese, as a treat in school lunch boxes. - Isabel Morgan, Napier.

  • Fig muffins - Make a basic muffin mix. Do to that you will need 2 cups flour, 3 cup sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 egg, 1 cup milk, and 2 tablespoons cooking oil. Sift all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add previously mixed egg, milk and oil mixture. Stir quickly until dry ingredients are just moistened - the batter should be lumpy. Add 1 cup of fresh or dried chopped figs into batter. Place large teaspoonfuls in greased muffin or patty pans and bake at 200 C for about 20 minutes or until golden. This makes about a dozen muffins.

  • Caramel figs - Make a caramel by add about third to half a cup of water to every cup of caster sugar. Heat until the caramel is a golden colour. For every cup of water split 5 figs into halves. Dip each fig half into the molten caramel and leave on a greased tray for about 10 to 15 minutes. Yum, as good as toffee apples!

  • Fig burgers – This is yet another variation of the oily rag burger. Basically the oily rag burger is the basic mince and buns with lots of free stuff added: sliced tomato from your garden, slug free garden fresh lettuce, beetroot, avocado, fried onions, a home-grown fried egg, and slices of fresh fig! 

  • Fig pizza topping – Cover the pizza base with your favourite pizza sauce, top with sliced figs, tomatoes and fetta cheese. Sprinkle with black pepper and thyme.

  • Fig in filo – To make this treat you will need a couple of fresh figs, a couple of sheets of filo pastry, some lemon juice, honey, and a topping like chopped pistachio nuts and cream or Greek yoghurt.  Here’s what you do. Cut the filo pasty into three squares, each big enough to wrap around the fig. Coast each piece with melted butter then layer each to forma star like patter. Cut the fig into quarters but leaving about a quarter at the bottom. Open up the fig and squirt in some lemon juice, a drizzle of honey, and some of the chopped pistachio nuts. Bring the corners of the pastry together and twist the top to close.   Coat the outside of each little package with melted butter. Place on a baking tray, cover with a piece of tin foil and bake in a moderate oven (about 180°C) for about 20 minutes. Serve with Greek yoghurt.

  • Roast fig – This is dead simple. Cur the figs in half, and place them flesh side up in a flat oven dish. Place half a teaspoon of honey into each cavity and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on top. Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes in a moderate oven. Serve with cream.

  • Poached figs – This basically means boiling them in a fluid, which in this case could be a mix of a bottle of white wine, ½ cup of honey, lemon juice and lemon peel to give taste. Bring the mix to a slow boil, and add the whole fig and remove when it has been cooked, which will only take about 5 minutes. Remove and place each in a serving bowl. Drizzle some of the mixture over the top and serve as you would roast figs.  



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