I like to eat out more than I enjoy staying home to cook — one look through my archives will tell you that. But when two cases of fresh California figs showed up at my house, I knew I had to do something special with them. Fresh figs, sadly, don’t last long.
Figs are not my usual fruit of choice so I asked a few folks on Twitter about the best way to preserve and use my windfall. After pondering several suggestions from stewing the figs to wrapping them in bacon (thanks, guys!), I decided to try something called Pollystyle Fig Paste. While the recipe would take some time, it didn’t require canning equipment and I would end up with a spread I could use on everything from cookie filling to a cheese plate.
It was pretty simple to combine sugar, a bottle of red wine and diced figs with a little lemon zest, and cook it down slowly until it became thick and jelly-like. I made two batches — a Shiraz with Sierra Figs and then a 2-Buck Chuck Cab with Black Mission Figs. They were both good, but the second batch with the cheaper wine was particularly amazing. Not sure if it was because of the wine, the different figs, or the fact that I ignored it on the stove longer than the first batch. Regardless, this recipe captured the sweetness of the fruit while the wine added more interest than a straight-up jelly or jam recipe.
It tastes as good as it looks:
Thanks again to my Twitter crowd for the ideas and to the California Fig Advisory Board for the fig delivery and for inspiring me to spend some time in the kitchen. I’ve been eating this on toast every morning and I love it!