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SHF35: Figs Ahoy!

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Sugar High Friday, hosted by Cream Puffs in Venice is all about figs this month. Awesome. I really like figs. For this SHF I turned towards perhaps the perfect cookbook for this event — The Girl and the Fig cookbook, one that I really like. In fact, I’m trying to finagle my way into lunch or dinner there next time we’re near Sonoma. But, back to SHF, I’m going to guess I’m not the only one who makes something out of this book given the theme. We’ll see…

Anyway, this was wonderful! A lot of steps, but it makes a great Saturday afternoon project. I did halve the recipe (I used a square 8 inch X 8 inch baking pan) and still ended up freezing about half of it for later snacking — it’s very rich.

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Warm Fig & Thyme Crisp with Fig Syrup
Pastry:
2 cups walnut halves
6 tbsp + 3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 1/2 cups AP flour
3/4 lb (3 sticks) unsalted butter, thinly sliced
3 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks

Jam:
2 1/2 pounds dried figs (I used about half dried figs and half fresh figs, which, for my halved recipe turned out to be 1 8-oz bag of dried figs and 1 pint of fresh figs)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
zest of 3 lemons
1 bunch thyme, tied with twine
3 tbsp lemon juice

Port-Fig Syrup:
2 cups Port
5 dried Black Mission figs, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove
1/2 cup sugar

Pastry
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, grind the walnuts (until medium-fine) with the tablespoons of sugar and set aside. Don’t worry, you’ll come back to them, but not until you’re ready to assemble the crisp. Next, mix the 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, salt, baking powder and flour until well combined. Add the butter and mix until the mixture clumps, about 2 minutes.

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Add the vanilla and egg yolks to the mixture and mix for 40 seconds. Pack two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of a 9 X 12 inch ungreased pan and bake until it’s lightly golden — about 25-30 minutes.

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Jam
To make the Jam, combine the figs, sugar, lemon zest thyme and lemon juice and pour in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Don’t be shy with the water. I was kinda skimpy and had to add more water half way through cooking. Go ahead and really cover everything from the beginning.

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Reduce the heat and simmer until the figs are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the thyme. Puree the mixture in a food processor.

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Syrup
Heat the figs, port, cinnamon and clove in a pan over medium heat and reduce to about 1/2 cup. Strain the sauce, pushing on the figs to get as much juice out as possible. Whisk in the sugar and serve.

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Assembley
Spread the jam evenly over the baked dough.

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In a bowl, crumble together the remaining third of the dough with the walnut and sugar mixture. Sprinkle this mixture over the jam and bake for about 50 minutes. (If you make a half recipe in a smaller pan, give it about 35 minutes).

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Cut into pieces and serve warm with vanilla ice cream (or frozen yogurt) and drizzle with the port sauce. So amazingly decadent! And delicious!

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Thanks again to Ivonne for hosting and coming up with a tasty theme! I can’t wait to see all of the fig recipes.

6 comments to SHF35: Figs Ahoy!

  • Hello-

    I do PR for the girl & the fig and just wanted to say thanks for trying the recipe and we’re thrilled you loved it. This is one of our most popular dessert items. Please come to the restaurant soon! We also have the fig cafe & winebar in Glen Ellen (about 15 min. from Sonoma), the fig pantry (a gourmet market and old fashioned country store in Sonoma) and Les Petites Maisons, four guest cottages for you to lay your sleepy, satisfied self after a day of great wine and food!

    Hope to see you soon!

  • You know I have wanted to buy this cookbook for the longest time! You’ve convinced me. And if I didn’t love figs already, this gorgeous dessert would make me love it in an instant!

    Thanks so much for taking part in SHF #35!

  • Edie

    This looks delicious, Michelle! We love figs, too, and recently had a carmelized fig and onion pizza with goat cheese, which was also delicious. Your blog is beautiful, and many of my friends are reading it. Edie

  • mlb

    Tyffani: Thanks so much! Oh, if it were not a few hundred miles away, I would be a regular there, trust me :) We should be through the area around Thanksgiving, going between Portland and Santa Cruz — hopefully we will stop for a snack!

    Ivonne: It’s a great book. I’ve made this and the coq au vin…both wonderful!

    Edie: Wow, that pizza sounds great! And thank you :)

  • Michelle

    I haven’t ever cooked with figs before…but want to try this for my dinner group this weekend. What should I look for at the store for the dried figs used in the jam? I did find the black mission figs at my local grocery but that was pretty much all they had. Your blog is really inspiring!

  • mlb

    michelle:

    I think any dried mission figs (the black ones) you can find will be fine. If I’m not mistaken, I used Sun Maid brand, which are the ones who make the raisins. Very basic dried figs! :)

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