Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Getting Figgy With It



Enough with the tomatoes already.

The backyard figs have suddenly burst from green to deep purple and are behaving like typical toddlers. They want my attention and they want it NOW. And if I ignore them? They act out by throwing themselves on the ground.

Up until this year, I simply cut the figs in half, squeezed on a little lime juice and ate them greedily over the sink. If I was a little more ambitious, I'd make a simple salad of arugula greens, figs and shards of machego cheese (bitter, sweet and pungent).

This year, I followed the lead of the Food Librarian and made a fig tart. And guess what? It couldn't be simpler. Roll out the puff pastry. Crimp the edges. Scatter brown sugar over the crust. Arrange sliced figs. Top with melted butter and a little more brown sugar. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is brown.


A cheap tart: $2.00 for a sheet of puff pastry (from an Arenian market) topped with free figs



How to get "picky eater" to eat a fig? Make a fig tart. "This tastes like it came from a bakery."

As I write this, a small pot of drunken fig jam is cooking on the stove. (I'm not canning, so I divided the recipe by 8.) I have been craving fig jam ever since I spread goat cheese and the nectar on top of a cracker, thanks to poet Linda Dove. At the moment, my experiment at small-scale jam making does not look very jam-like, but we shall see.

In the meantime, there's always the tart. (The fig tart, that is. Not the toddler tart)

Fig Jam Upadate: It worked! Now that I've fig-ured that out, I just need to pick up a log of chevre.

30 comments:

AmyR said...

I made jam from our fig harvest this year. It was my first time making jam, and though I'm not a huge fan of figs, it was tasty. :(

Cafe Pasadena said...

Love figs!
I'm sending in my order now.
Go figure it.

Trish said...

enjoyed some figs last night while watching the Chargers-Raiders game (there ARE some benefits to have culinary Jews as friends)!

but I realized how tired I am and how dyslexic I am when I read the Fig Tart line and wondered WHAT a "tig" was and how it might...well anyway...

the TART sounds wonderful...enjoy!

this is me, signing off, going to bed before I confuse anything else dangerously tonight!

The Food Librarian said...

Yummy! Your tart looks wonderful! You are soooo lucky to have figs in your backyard. I'm envious of your big farm! - mary

Angie said...

wow..I have figs and never know what to do with tham..thanks!

marinik said...

oh my that tart looks delish... i love figs too, i love to eat them with a nice pungent cheese yummm. :)

altadenahiker said...

I'm not much of a fig eater, but Linda's jam could convert me.

altadenahiker said...

Oh, and your tart is lovely.

Susan C said...

Amy, Good for you for your jam making! It's a great way to prevent fallen figs.

CP, I'll save some figs for you.

Trish, At least you didn't think I was a big tart.

Mary, Thanks again for the inspiration! I'm not a real baker like you, so this is just my speed.

Angie, And I highly recommed that fig jam. I'll post the measurements for a tiny batch later.

Mari, You're so right about figs going well with a pungent cheese. MMM!

AH, So right about Linda's jam. And thanks. Nature makes the loveliest baked goods.

Trish said...

well, I wasn't going to say anything...;-)

with fresher eyes, it all looks delish!

am looking forward to dinner with friends Friday night as someone has promised to bring a kosher for Trish fig tart--homemade from figs in their yard.

Linda Dove said...

Hey, thanks for the shout out! I'd love to hear how the black missions compared to the brown turkeys. My fig harvest has been done for several weeks, although I may get a few yet in the last little eensy ripening before the leaves fall...

by the way, I tweaked that recipe a bit when I made the jam: more lemon peel ('cause I'm a sucker for citrus), and pectin--'cause I like a thick jam.

Your tart is beautiful.

Jean Spitzer said...

The tart looks wonderful, and the reminder that one can make a small amount of jam and not bother with canning is timely for me because I think that that's all I have ambition for at this time.

Margaret said...

I am jealous of all you fig people. I can't even get my lemon tree to grow lemons. I must be the worst gardener ever.

Mary said...

I love your tart. It really looks delicious.

Desiree said...

If you have a log jam with fig jam quality control--I'm your maven~

pasadenaadjacent said...

The funny thing about Mr V is that he loves eating figs and persimmons straight off the tree. Secondly, since no one seems to want them we never felt bad about plucking some on our walks. I guess thats not always the case. An italian friend of mine has a several fig varieties besides the Mission fig but Vic remains a traditionalist.

Susan C said...

Trish, I'll expect a report on the kosher fig tart.

Linda, I like the idea of adding more lemon peel. I like that marmalady taste when I get a piece of peel with the figs. I was so worried that the jam wasn't going to thicken, but it did (with no pectin).

Jean, I think a single cup of jam is my speed. I get dizzy thinking about all that jar sterilizing.

Mary, thanks. I'm sure you wouldn't have "cheated" and would have made your own pastry.

Desiree, I should have fig-ured that you'd be my fig jam go-to gal.

PA, I can picture Mr. V plucking and eating the fresh fruit straight from the tree. The fruit probably tastes better when you don't ask permission to pick (just like our trespasser picnics).

I just started learning last year that there are about a gazillion varities of figs.

Karen said...

I too loved that fig-jam-goat-cheese combo so much that I had to duplicate it!

I don't have figs, but I did make peach jam earlier this summer, so I've been eating that with the cheese. Pretty good stuff!

The canning process is not hard, but it does get HOT in the kitchen and in August, that's not such a great thing. ;-)

Susan C said...

Karen, That heat factor is what has kept me out of the canning business.

Funny that you tried the goat cheese with peach jam. I did the same thing the other day with home-made apricot jam (a gift from a member of my produce sharing group). It was FABULOUS!

Susan C said...

Margaret, Believe me. It's nothing I do. Figs seem to literally grow like weeds in our back yard. I have about a half dozen volunteer plants popping up in random places.

cookingschoolconfidential.com said...

Those figs are luscious, luscious!

I never get to cook with figs because, by the time I am done taste testing them, they are all gone!

Cheers.

Ann said...

Ripe figs stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped with a little prosciutto equals heaven. My mom has a fig tree in her backyard that drops tons of figs. Sadly, she's not a fig eater, so the wasps and birds benefit from that old tree's harvest. Your tart looks delicious! I can't wait to have the random trees removed from our backyard so it can get some sun. The first thing I'm planting is a fig tree.

Petrea said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours ever! Getting figgy. Cheap tart. You're a scream.

hussein said...

Nice

white on rice couple said...

Oh, are these black mission figs??? I wanna grow another tree that is just like yours! They're gorgeous, so deep in color, I can taste the sugar already.

I go so figgy crazy when I'm at the farmers market. Best part are all the sample tables where I can taste test everything! :D

Jo said...

oh wow... yum! I love figs!

California Girl said...

hilarious way to describe your baby figs. I remember our fig tree in Woodland Hills, filled with incredible delectable fruit. no such thing in the northeast. I don't think you can find them fresh in the grocery. ah well.

cmariewt said...

Mmmm this looks so good! I love figs. I made a fig appetizer for a BBQ I had a few weeks ago and it was a hit! Figs with goat cheese and prosciutto. My post is here if you want to check it out:

http://cmariecook.blogspot.com/2009/09/stuffed-figs-and-prosciutto.html

Carolyn Jung said...

They're also great just dolloped with some honey and salty cheese. I love fresh figs. They are magical.

tom tall clover farm said...

Yep nothing like a fresh fig; I think Adam and Eve traded eternity in paradise for one of those gems (no offense to the apple, of course).

I love to stuff my figs with goat cheese, wrap in bacon and broil or grill. What's that sound? Oh just angels singing!

Here's the recipe for what I call my cheesy fig bombs: http://tallcloverfarm.com/?p=133
Enjoy!