Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fig Confit

The other day, when Betty and I were coming back from the dog park, we stopped at a little fruit stand, thinking we might find something freshly picked and irresistible.  And indeed, I spied a little pint container of bright green figs that would absolutely have to go home with me.  Reluctantly, I parted with five dollars because I really wanted to sink my teeth into one of those delectable fruits.  When I eat a fig, memories of my earliest childhood in the south of France seem to erase the present and evoke this distant past.  I can almost smell the Mediterranean breezes mingled with the scent of rosemary and lavender.  Yet, when I try to share my passion for this somewhat strange fruit, it seems that very few people I know have even tasted a fresh fig.  I asked the girl who was tending the fruit stand if she had tasted one.  She shook her head as if to say, “it’s really too weird.  Fig Newtons I understand, but this?...”
My son Mark has a fig tree at his new house.  By the time we picked the figs, they were oozing with sweet juice and were falling from the tree in ripened perfection.  I tried to get everyone to taste one and I think only Dawn was excited about this very different fruit.  And of course, she is as passionate about food in all its forms as I am.
So here I am with a little basket of figs.  I could use them in all kinds of different ways.  Sliced in half they would be great on the grill.  They could be roasted with a pork tenderloin, mixed with rosemary and garlic.  They could be great with a little goat cheese on a crostini.  Finally, I decided to make a confit with them, to be spread on toast, or spooned onto a scoop of Greek yogurt, or served with a good cheddar cheese on a cracker.
I fussed and fiddled with the ingredients until it tasted right to me and now I have three little jars to give as gifts as an introduction to the glorious fig.

Fig Confit
1 pint fresh green figs (I suppose the dark figs could be substituted but I like the mildness of the green ones)
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely sliced lemon, including rind (about ¼ lemon)
1 ½ tablespoons crystallized ginger, sliced fine
½ cup orange marmalade (I make my own which is quite tart)
Combine all ingredients and simmer on medium to low heat for about ½ hour.  Spoon into prepared, sterilized jars and seal.  Boil in water bath for ten minutes.  Makes about 1 ½ pints.


  1. Hi Sallyanne, I too am one of the ignorant when it comes to figs. I really should branch out and try new things. Your jars look lovely. I bet they taste equally scrumptious.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Sprig and Twig and leaving a comment. I hope you will be back.

    The most elegant first course I have ever had was at the Excelsior in Eugene OR. I was a very ripe fig sliced partially into quarters and opened like a flower. A dollop of creme fraiche completed the picture: so simple, so beautiful, so delicious!