August is the season for figs in Vancouver. I know this because on a bi-daily basis, my neighbour comes over with a huge bowl of figs for me to turn into something delicious. He has 5 trees that bare 2 kinds of figs of which I don’t know the name, but each one has green skin, one variety is large with sweet, mild white flesh that turns golden as it gets really ripe, and a smaller variety that has red flesh and is a bit tangier.
Two years ago I used the white-fleshed figs when they were really ripe to make fig ginger jam. I skinned every fig and just used the flesh for this jam with lots of texture from the seeds and chunks of candied ginger. It turned out so well that I saved and savoured the jars knowing they would have to last. One sad, sad day my last two jars hit the tile floor on the laundry room and smashed in a glassy figgy mess. As I was contemplating licking it off the floor (and picking the glass off my tongue from the splatter that hit my leg), I decided I better make some more to avoid this sort of desperate craziness.
In 2009, I used both kinds of figs together to make jam, again making Fig Ginger Jam , but this time I left on the skins. This changed the colour and texture of the jam as I needed to pulse the jam with an immersion blender to chop up the skins this time making it thicker. And because I had added the candied ginger in the jam before blending, there were no yummy candied ginger chunks. The colour was not nearly as nice as the 2008 jam (which was a rich, shiny, golden colour) but it tasted just as good.
I made a second Jam in 2009 as well, Fig, Brandy and Honey Mandarine. This had a lot more citrus and some richness from the brandy both of which went very well with the figs.
Then came August 2010:
I don’t know if it is a love for figs, the daily harvest delivery from my neighbour, or the squirrel in me but I made 7 recipes from the figs this year:
- The Original Fig Ginger Jam
- Fig Sesame Jam
- Balsamic Caramelized Figs
- Fig Balsamic Vinegar
- Amaretto Figs (recipe to come)
- Caramelized Fig Torte
- Fig Ice Cream (recipe to come)
Oh, and I froze some halved figs too. Whew. I actually went out yesterday to see if the trees had any more ripe figs (um, crazy) and thankfully, that’s it for the year. I can put this figgy month to bed enjoying a pantry full of riches, of the fig persuasion.
I’m going to have to try these – I’m particularly interested in the balsamic caramelized figs – yum!! I love the title of this post – I’ve been singing about figgy pudding during the last couple weeks of fig season. I’d really love to get a fig tree. They’re such producers, so yummy, and as you’ve shown here, so versatile and so gorgeous!
How lucky you are to have access to so many figs. Thanks for all the yummy sounding recipes. the yellow figs should be in the supermarket soon so perhaps I can try a recipe or 2.
Wow, wow, wow! What a nice neighbor and what a lucky girl to receive such a gift of figs. You’ll have fig goodness to enjoy all winter long.
The figs looks fresh and delicious and the recipes are yummy. I have never eaten a fresh fig before. We use preserved/dried figs in herbal drinks.