Thursday, November 01, 2012


As soon as I switched into hunter-gatherer mode, I became aware of how many fig trees are lurking about in Cape Town. Now, from my understanding a fig tree bears fruit twice a year and that’s in spring and then again during the hottest part of summer. So in Cape Town, that’ll be October and the end of January. I would assume fig trees behave the same in the northern hemisphere. (‘Same same, but different’). I imagine the first fruiting of northern figs would be round about April while the second would be July/August. (Somebody please correct me if I’m talking shite). Anyhow, the first figs of the season, never really ripen, so they are rubbish for the table or for chomping out of the hand, but these are the figs that are perfect for preserving. Check out the video blog to see how I do it. There are definitely more precise recipes, but this way works fine for me, coz I never know how many figs I’ll be bringing home.

How Biblical ?                                                                      Me
Wot you need.
A bundle of green figs (I go for the smaller ones)
A sprinkling of slaked lime
A goodly amount of sugar
If you want you can add sliced ginger, allspice or cinnamon to your syrup mixture and even a little brandy at the bottling stage. Be as clever as you want, but beware of being too clever for you own good.

The first figs of the season never ripen                        Mans
Wot to do
Cut the stem of each fig below the 'joiny type thingy', give it a bit of a scrub with a nailbrush, cut a shallow cross at the bottom, place in a bowl, sprinkle with a little slaked lime, cover with water, place a plate over the bowl with a weight on (a can of something does just fine) so all the figs are submerged and leave to soak overnight. The next day, give the little fellows a good rinse, pop em into a generous sized pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Let them simmer just long enough so the skin punctures easily when you stab them with a toothpick. Drain the water, then do an eyeball measurement of the level of the drained figs. Remove figs from the pot, and pour in water to more or less the level of the figs, then measure the water and add the same amount of sugar e.g. If it’s four cups of water then add four cups of sugar. Bring your syrup to the boil and gently add the figs. Simmer for about two and a half hours, until the figs are glossy right though and your syrup has reduced by about a third. Bottle in sterilized jars and seal while hot. Save any extra syrup for, ice cream, yoghurt and sponge cake toppings, for smoothies or for my Damn Fine Granola recipe. (see blog archives).

Green Fig Preserve and Cheese are a perfect chomp for anytime, anywhere                                                                Mans

1 comment:

  1. I wish someone would post the reason for soaking overnight in slaked lime.
    I had to scratch around for my older relatives and friends who remembered asking their mom's/granny's why: the process ensured that the fruit would not cook away but remain firm.