- 8 oz. dried Calimyrna figs
- 1 Tb. brown sugar
- 1/2 Tb. lemon juice
- 1-3/4 cups water
Remove stems from figs, and discard. Dice figs.
Combine figs, sugar, juice, and 1-1/2 cups water in a small pot over medium heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a simmer, continuing to stir occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Place fig mixture in a blender, add 1/4 cup water, and pureé.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a covered container. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Rereading the story behind this recipe makes me smile. Previously I wasn’t a big fan of figs, as I knew them mostly via Fig Newtons. Those are dry and boring cookies, at least in my opinion. In the last nine years I have discovered there is so much more to figs, both fresh and dry. This recipe makes excellent use of dried figs. It’s definitely worth trying.
To learn more about this recipe, originally published in July 2010, keep reading.
At our house, fun dinners typically fall into one of two categories: make your own XYZ (could be pizza, panini, quesadilla, etc.) or munchies. Recently, we had a make your own panini night, which made that dinner fun for everyone. As all of our tastes vary, the requests for the shopping list range from the expected to the unique. There were requests from everything from ham to blue cheese to figs.
As much as I would love to say that one of our four was so adventurous that he or she requested figs, that isn’t the truth. I was the one who wanted figs. I don’t often indulge in paninis, but for this dinner I decided if I was going to have a panini, it was going to include all sorts of yummy things.
The first thing that I need to make a panini yummy is good bread, something hearty, crusty, and flavorful. The next thing I need is hot, gooey, melted cheese. The last thing I need is a flavor that will contrast with the savoriness of the cheese. As I had chosen ciabatta rolls and fresh mozzarella for my first two ingredients, I decided that something sweet would be a great final flavor. I’ve made paninis with apples, mango chutney, and other fruits; this time I wanted something new, which led to figs.
I can’t say that figs are a regular part of my culinary portfolio. However, about a year ago, I had the most fabulous tapas dish of cheese-stuffed figs wrapped in bacon. (And this is a person who isn’t crazy about bacon, but the dish was wonderful!) Since then I’ve tried to find ways to use figs in my cooking. Thus, fig jam for a panini seemed like the perfect opportunity.