Hello. I’m Karen and I’m a figaholic. So there it is for the world to see. I LOVE figs. I love how they taste plucked right off the tree in our backyard–slightly wrinkled, sun-warmed and so soft that the ripe inner flesh strains against the skin. At the height of flavor the thick, jammy insides conjure memories of bar cookies mingled with flower essence.
The birds apparently share my addiction, and every year we fight over who will get to the figs first. They hover. I hover. They seem to have an uncanny ability for detecting the exact moment when the fruit is perfectly ripe. I am pleased to report we seem to have arrived at a truce: they claim the bounty too high in the branches to reach, and I greedily pluck the low-hanging fruit.
My “clean-up” crew (which consists of one very gassy Labrador Retriever) stands watch underneath the tree–ready to gobble up any strays the birds or I mistakenly knock to the ground.
Last weekend I picked enough figs to make one of my favorite recipes. This versatile sauce makes a fantastic brushcetta appetizer paired with good quality blue cheese and crusty bread, or a delicious dessert topping spooned over vanilla ice cream. If you can’t choose, try both!
- Ripe figs, preferably Black Mission
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Grand Marnier Liquor
Step 1 Clean figs and slice in half. Set aside
Step 2 Place 1 cup water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat on the stove and heat until sugar melts, stirring frequently. Add cut figs and bring to a slow simmer. Continue simmering the figs as they release their juice and break into soft chunks.
Step 3 Toward the end of the reduction phase, add a splash of Grand Marnier to taste and mix. This ingredient infuses the sauce with a mild orange essence. Allow figs to reduce to a jam-like consistency (may take 40-50 minutes or more total).