Fresh Figs – Get Them While You Can!

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Fresh figs are a Southern favorite, and if you are lucky enough to snag some before the birds and insects, then you are very lucky.

Fresh figs have a pretty short window of availability in the south, so pick them when you see them!! If you are worried about the figs going bad before you use them, then stick them in the freezer.

Figs have been popular around the world for centuries. Not only are they tasty, but also very nutritious. In more recent research, studies have shown that they are helpful in treating a range of medical concerns, from diabetes to eczema!
Well-loved for their sweet, mild flavor and multiple uses, figs are low in calories and have no fat. One large, raw fig has just 47 calories. If you’re looking to shed pounds, figs are a great replacement for unhealthy snacks.

Eating a dried fig is just like eating a cookie! One ounce of dried figs 3 grams of fiber. Fiber may help alleviate constipation and keep you feeling full longer. It may also help lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.

Figs are a good source of calcium, which can ward off osteoporosis as well as other health issues. You won't find a better plant source of calcium than figs.
If you’re hoping to add more antioxidants to your diet, you can’t go wrong with figs.
Antioxidants are thought to reduce cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Nutrition
experts recommend upping your antioxidant intake by eating more fruits and vegetables like figs.

I have shared this recipe many times, but it is still a great way to keep enjoying your figs.

Small Batch Fig Jam

  • 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 pounds ripe fresh figs, stemmed and quartered

Remove strips of rind from lemons using a vegetable peeler, avoiding white pith. Combine rind strips and remaining ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan or large Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 50 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. To test for doneness, place a small amount on a chilled plate. Tilt the plate; preserves should move sluggishly. (If testing with a candy
thermometer, it should read 220°.) Discard thyme and lemon rind strips.

Serves 24, each 2 tablespoon serving contains; Calories 132, Fat 0.2g, Protein 0g,
Carbohydrates 34g, Fiber 2 g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 1mg.

Easy Fig Bites with Baked Brie and Prosciutto

  • 8 ounces Brie cheese
  • 2 ounces prosciutto
  • 24 phyllo shells, defrosted
  • 4 tablespoons fig jam, homemade preferred
  • 3 large fresh figs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Cut rind from Brie and discard. Cut Brie into 24, ¾-inch cubes. Stack prosciutto slices, roll, and slice into ¼-inch thick ribbons.
Place phyllo shells on prepared baking sheet. Fill each shell with ½ teaspoon fig jam, spreading gently. Add one Brie cube to each shell and top with a few pieces of cut prosciutto.
Bake 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and prosciutto is crisp.
While the shells are baking, cut each fig into 8 pieces (cut fig in half, and then cut each half in half lengthwise and crosswise, creating 4 pieces per half).
Remove phyllo cups from the oven and top with a piece of fresh fig. Serve warm.
Serves 24, each serving contains; Calories 65, Fat 4g, Protein 2g, Carbohydrates 5g,
Fiber 2 g, Cholesterol 11mg, Sodium 83mg.

Homemade Fig Bars

For the filling:

  • 16 fresh figs, washed, dried, and quartered
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cookie crusts:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla

In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, make the filling. Bring the figs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to a low boil, stirring as needed.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes, occasionally smashing the larger pieces with the back of a fork and stirring. They will cook down and thicken with a jam-like consistency.
Remove the filling from the heat and cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9 X 13 baking dish, then line with parchment paper or foil then butter the parchment or foil. Use plenty of butter.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar until it’s fluffy. Add the orange zest and eggs. Beat on medium until the dough comes together. Then stir in the vanilla.
Gradually incorporate the flour mixture with the mixer on low. The dough will be sticky.
Butter two “pan-sized” pieces of foil or parchment paper, measure 1 1/2 cups of the dough out, and roll or press the dough in between the pieces. This will be your top crust, so get it into a rectangle shape if you can. Put it in the freezer.
Press the remaining dough into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes. It will be pretty and golden brown.
Spread the fig filling across the baked crust and then get the top crust out of the freezer.
Gently peel the foil or paper away from the frozen cookie crust and then place it over the top of the fig filling. Pat any stray crust pieces into place.
Bake for another 20-25 minutes. Watch it closely! The top will turn a nice golden color.
Let the whole thing cool completely in the pan, on a wire rack if you have one. Once cooled, lift the parchment (or foil) out of the pan and slice into squares.
Yields 12-14 squares.

Fresh Fig Cake

For the cake:

  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups sugar<
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white/li>
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour/li>
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda/li>
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon/li>
  • 1 cup buttermilk/li>
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh figs, stems removed (you can use your frozen figs for this type of recipe, just thaw them thoroughly first)/li>
  • ½ cup chopped pecans/li>

For the glaze:

  • ¼ cup sugar/li>
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup/li>
  • 1 tablespoons butter/li>
  • ¼ cup buttermilk/li>
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda/li>
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract/li>

For the cake, Preheat oven 350°F. Coat Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In mixing bowl, cream oil, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition until creamy.
In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk and ending with flour. Beat after each addition.
Stir in figs and pecans. Bake 40-45 minutes, until top springs back when touched. Then, let cake cool 10 minutes and then invert onto serving plate. Next, pour Glaze (recipe follows) over hot cake.
For the glaze, In small nonstick pot, combine all ingredients except vanilla and bring to boil 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add vanilla and pour over hot cake.
Serves 20, each serving contains; Calories 194, Fat 7g, Protein 3g, Carbohydrates 30g,
Fiber 1g, Cholesterol 21mg, Sodium 11mg.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Fig Sauce

(modified from a FOOD52 Blog Recipe)

  • 1 20 ounce pork tenderloin, cleaned and halved
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 fresh figs, ripened and cut into quarters
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season the pork well with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. When hot add the canola oil and the tenderloin. Sear off on all sides 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and place on a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a medium sauté pan until melted. Add the figs to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, until golden. Remove the figs from the pan and set aside. Add the balsamic vinegar, stock and sugar to the same pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Return the figs to the pan,
heat through and keep warm.
Remove pork from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice the pork and place on a platter. Spoon figs around pork and pour sauce over and around the pork. Serve.