Gettin’ Figgy With It

Five of our favorite recipes for the sweetest and oldest fruit recognized by man.

Fresh Fig Tart

For the almond crust:

2 cups almond flour

1 cup pastry flour

½ cup cold butter, cut in pieces

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients in food processor until it forms a ball. Chill for an hour. Using a rolling pin, roll dough on a floured surface to 1/3-inch thickness. Place dough in pie pan and cover with parchment. Weight parchment using rice or pie weights. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden. Cool.

For the filling:

1 cup crème fraîche

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla (not extract)

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice

enough Black Mission fig slices to cover crust standing up

Mix all ingredients, and cream well using a hand-mixer or mixing bowl. Pour filling into cooled crust.  Arrange fig slices standing up in filling. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Chilled Fig and Almond Soup

8 ounces almonds

5 ½ ounces white bread

approximately 13 ounces cold water

7 ounces olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons lemon oil

salt and pepper to taste

Pulse almonds, bread and garlic in food processor. Add water with motor running. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and sherry vinegar. Chill. Pour soup into bowl and add quartered figs. Drizzle with lemon oil.

Serves 2-4

Grilled Figs Served with Smithfield Ham and Citrus Cream

2 Calimyrna figs

2 Black Mission figs

2 very thin slices of Smithfield ham

For the citrus cream:

4 ounces mascarpone

4 ounces heavy cream

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

zest of one lemon

juice of half lemon

zest of one lime

juice of one lime

pinch of salt

Quarter figs and grill on low heat for 5 minutes. Arrange ham on plate and top with figs. Mix citrus cream ingredients until smooth. Spoon cream around plate.

Serves 1

Fig and Prosciutto Pizza

¼ cup cornmeal

1 1-pound package pizza dough (or click here for a slow-rise pizza dough recipe)

3 cups crumbled feta

6 small fresh figs cut into 1/4-inch slices or ½ cup dried figs

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

thinly-sliced prosciutto to preference

1 red bell pepper, sliced

¼ cup green olives, sliced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups arugula

Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle rimless baking sheet or pizza pan generously with cornmeal. Roll dough on floured work surface and transfer to prepared sheet. Sprinkle feta over dough. Sprinkle with pepper. Place figs in medium bowl; drizzle 1 tablespoon vinegar over. Set aside.

Bake pizza until crust is golden brown on bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Immediately drape prosciutto slices over, covering pizza completely. Arrange fig slices atop prosciutto. Top with sliced red pepper and olives. Bake until figs are heated through, about 3 minutes. Transfer pizza to cutting board. Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and oil in large bowl; add arugula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Layer arugula mix atop pizza. Slice and serve.

Fig and Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick

½ cup water, plus extra as needed

Kosher salt and pepper

3 tablespoons ghee, melted

3/4 cup dried figs, chopped fine

¼ cup toasted sliced almonds

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

Combine potatoes, water, and 1 teaspoon salt in slow cooker. Grease 16 by 12-inch sheet of parchment paper and press firmly onto potatoes, folding down edges as needed. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 5 to 6 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.

Discard parchment. Mash potatoes with potato masher until smooth. Fold in melted ghee, figs, toasted sliced almonds, grated fresh ginger and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

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