Friday, September 14, 2012

Foodie Friday: Figs!

Welcome to my first Foodie Friday post! I’m passionate about food and eating fully, though ideally healthfully. I make no promises as I'm learning that balancing life with Lil' O and Husby can take many turns, but it is my goal to post a foodie note weekly and share some of my foodie outings and kitchen feats.

We start with the sweet, sweet fruit that’s taking over my backyard: figs! A lot of my experimenting in the kitchen lately has been trying to use up these sweet jewels, but I must admit our tree is producing far, far more than I’m able to cook, dry and jam. Little did we know when we bought our house how much work a full-grown fruit tree requires. At peak season, which is August through October, we could easily harvest pounds and pounds of figs twice each week. So, if you know of any fig recipes worth trying or want to come over and pick some fresh figs, please let me know! The comment section is open. ;)

Since not everyone will rush over to help with the harvest, though, try finding some fresh figs at your local farmer’s market. They are super good in a variety of recipes and are elegantly simple and refreshing with a little bit of cheese to cut their sweetness. Recommended cheeses include smoked gouda, blue cheese or goat cheese. But, for those who’d like to cook up some fig-infused goodness, here are two recent successes from the batch of fig experiments I’ve been trying lately: honey fig scones and sun-dried figs.

I love scones. Hands down, it’s my favorite thing to make. This is largely because it seems you simply can’t buy a good scone just anywhere. So, it seemed natural to find a scone recipe using figs. This one is a winner. It got the coveted gold star in our household, meaning it’s pretty amazing. My first batch tasted great, but came out a bit flat (see pix). My second time around, I wanted to make them a bit healthier, so used whole wheat flour and they came out perfectly! I swear switching the flour is the only thing I did differently, but it sure seems like another adjustment was made based on the results. I’ll have to try them a third time to be sure I can replicate these awesome fluffy whole wheat results.

Sun-Dried Figs
The internet is an amazing thing! I came to the realization, after looking at so many fig recipes, that with all these fresh figs now, if I needed dried figs later in the year I’d be upset I didn’t take the time to dry my own figs. Only problem is that I’m a city girl and have no idea how to dry fruit. Luckily, there’s this crazy thing called the internet and you can type in questions and find instructions! Yay! So, that’s what I did. I searched and found instructions, then followed them (mostly). My amendments: I used cheesecloth instead of tulle and put my figs in the sun for about four days to really be sure they were good and dry. Next time, I think I’ll try putting a food tent over them as well, since bugs still tried getting to the figs through the cheesecloth. Overall, it worked really well! I just had to remember to put out the figs in the morning before I got Lil’ O up and began our morning routine. (FYI, mornings aren’t my thing, so remembering something outside of the routine was a bit of a challenge.) Thankfully, I prevailed and we have a small batch of dried figs! Weeee!

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