Joy the Baker

Hello, Spring. Hello, Figs!

March 14, 2008

Spring has sprung and figs are growing! Their season is still a few months away, but I had to get a picture of these budding beauties in my friend’s backyard.

It’s possible that you may not understand my deep affection for figs. They are my favorite food, without hesitation. Figs are divine. Cosmic. They can do no wrong. Have you ever had a fresh fig? A bite into a good fig simultaneously sends three sign to my brain- sweet. purple. love. Call me crazy, but figs just have a hold on me.

And don’t get me started on Fig Newtons. While I will eat them once in a while, it’s not because they taste anything like a fig fresh from the tree. Fig Newtons and fresh figs are worlds apart… don’t get me started.

What am I going to make with this years budding figs? So far I’m thinking fig compote, upside down fig tart, fig jam on warm biscuits and lavendar and fig cupcakes. Any fig suggestions?


11 Comments Add A Comment

  • oh my goodness I am so jealous!!!!! They are one of my favorite foods as well — the dried kind are a sorry comparison to lovely fresh figs!

  • i have never had a fresh fig before!

  • Hey Joy! In my “Sticky Chewy Messy Gooey” book, there is a recipe for a fig and brown butter cake (I think) and there is also one in Dorie Greenspan’s book. I think the idea of using figs in breakfast goods sounds delightful too, with a big cup of coffee :) Now you’ve got me all excited to bake w/ figs too!

  • Kitty- Yes! the fig, cheese, honey and bread combo! I forgot about that. Brilliant!
    Mike- You are so right, persimmons are right up there with figs!
    Recipe Girl- I would urge you to give figs another shot. But if you happen to not like figs… I guess that means there are more figs out in the world for me to eat!
    FRM- A smoker! Now that sounds interesting. I’ve never even dreamed of smoking figs, but I’m definitely curious now.
    Stephanie- You must try figs! I’ll be excited to hear how you feel about them!

  • I am almost ashamed to admit I have never eaten a fig…or a fig newton for that matter. That will definitely change this Spring!

  • Beautiful photos, Joy! When I was living in Venice Beach, I had a fig tree in my yard. Beneath the tree sat the smoker I had built out of large terra cotta pots and a hotplate. The figs literally fell into the smoker and I took it as a sign. I took a bunch of ripe figs, cut them in half, placed them in a Pyrex dish cut side up, added a quarter-to-half inch of fruit juice (I used different juices on different occasions), and smoked them for a few hours . . . occasionally turning the figs in the ever-reducing juice . . . but always leaving them cut side up so they could more easily continue drying out . . . and then turning them cut side down for the last half-hour or so to soften the cut side a bit in the now-reduced-to-a-smokey-syrup juice. They were awesome with cured meats, on ice cream, and with just about anything else. Smoked candied figs! Shoot me an email if you want more info on how to build a kick-ass smoker for well under $100.

  • Your pics are fabulous. Makes me smile for spring.

  • I want to like figs. I really do. I had a Swedish grandmother who used to make these icky fig cookies when I was a kid and her feelings were hurt if I didn’t eat them. So I was forced to pretend that I liked them. I’ll have to give them another shot after your raving reviews!

  • I also get weak in the knees over fresh figs–I’d never had them until I moved to FL, and now I couldn’t imagine *not* having them. I’d love to get a tree–I sure shell out enough money buying them from the grocery store when they’re in season! I’ll always have dried figs handy for the rest of the year, but its just not the same as having those plump, honeyed gifts from above. I’d put Hachiya persimmons at number two on the grand scale of fruit sexiness.

    I like all of the fig recipe ideas you posted. Maybe a galette? I’ve honestly never made a fig dessert–I always wind up eating them all before I get a chance to cook them since I have no will power. I’ll have to work on that this season. ;-) I look forward to seeing what you do with them.

  • oh yes, i love figs too. fig, prociutto, rocket and walnut salad does it for me. or figs, ricotta and honey on sourdough toast. we had a fig tree in the back garden when i was growing up, and i never realised just how precious they are. by the time they get to the shop and home to yours, they’ve lost all their splenour. a friend with a fig tree is a friend of note!

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