Sunday, August 12, 2012

Spanish Figs

What do you do when you've got a lot of figs?  I mean a lot of figs...

Step 1: Stuff your face.  There's not much more for it, just go to town and try to get rid of as many as possible quickly.

Step 2: Stare blankly at the remaining 800000 figs.

Step 3: Make something.

I decided to make a spread to eat with fresh cheese--mató we call it; a smooth rich ricotta-like cheese that we often eat with honey, quince paste (membrillo) or, in my case now, fig spread.  (Walnuts optional, but a really great idea.)

Turns out it also goes really well with most white cheeses; including some rather strong sheeps cheese I have around as well.

Fig Spread
5 cups or so of very ripe figs
1/4-1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
2-3 large peels of orange zest (use fruit peeler to get easily removable pieces of zest)

Take your figs (use the ripest you've got) and quarter them into a large pot.

Add a few fingers of white wine so that the figs can break down and start releasing their own juices without burning.  Add some sugar and orange zest.

Let it boil for 2 hours or so, or until the desired consistency, stirring occasionally to help break down the figs.  Remove the orange zest and let the spread cool before putting in tupperware or jars, and storing in the fridge and freezing what you don't think you can consume in 1-2 weeks.

I wasn't really into the idea of using 1:1 sugar to figs (which is usually what is needed to make a preservable jam).. I didn't want something overpoweringly sweet to go with my cheese, just a hint of sweetness to complement the salty richness.

I could have kept going--it wasn't super thick by the end, but I like the chunks of fig, and the honey-like consistency of the liquid which spreads beautifully on fresh cheese.  It made about 3 cups worth--one of which I gave away and the other two; well we went through the first cup in about a day, so I doubt it'll be a problem.