Ohhhhh figs. We love figs. Are they the forgotten fruit of summer? In the warmer months, it feels like they’re often overlooked in favour of the big names of the season: mangoes, pineapples, watermelon and cherries. Not ok. Fresh, grilled, baked, served sweet or savoury, figs work in so many ways. Here are three of them: a fig and goat’s cheese tart with lemon thyme, baked figs with jamon iberico and vin cotto, and fresh figs with game terrine and fig jam.
(sharing platter for 6)
figs (lots of them)
3 thin slices of jamon iberico
drizzle of vin cotto
50g game or liver terrine
fig jam (see below)
1 sheet puff pastry
50g crumbly goat’s cheese
small handful of pine nuts
1 sprig of lemon thyme
Prosciutto seems to have become synonymous with charcuterie. And, where we are, san daniele seems to have become synonymous with prosciutto. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking it was the only cured meat out there. It’s not. Try jamon iberico instead sometime. It is more expensive but well worth it for a few thinly sliced pieces of mouth heaven. It is less salty than san daniele and with more fat. The meat is a much darker colour and more subtly flavoured too.
Wrap each fig in a slice of jamon iberico and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake at 200° celsius for about 10 minutes or until the iberico goes crispy on the edges. Remove from oven and drizzle a small amount of vin cotto over the top so it melts and mixes with the juice released by the figs and the fat rendered from the iberico. Keep this sauce to pour over the figs with terrine up next.
fresh figs with game terrine and fig jam
Buy a ticket to Paris. Go to the Galeries Lafayette’s food hall. Try the figs stuffed with foie gras to see how well terrines and pates work with figs. We know. We’re wankers.
Toast the bread and generously spread with terrine or pate (get a good liver-based one for this; foie gras is best if you can). Arrange slices of fresh figs on top and spoon over the sauce reserved from the baked figs above. Serve with fig jam (see below).
fig and goat’s cheese tart with lemon thyme
The honey flavour of ripe baked figs works perfectly with the sourness of fresh goat’s cheese.
Pre-heat your oven to 200° celsius. Toast pine nuts. Cut puff pastry into a rectangle about 10cm by 20cm. Thinly slice figs lengthwise and arrange like overlapping roof tiles on the pastry from top to bottom, leaving about a centimetre of pastry around the outside. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are puffed and golden. Remove from oven, crumble the goat’s cheese and sprinkle pine nuts and a few sprigs of lemon thyme over the top before slicing the tart to serve.
If you want you could make jam out of any left over figs too. We really should have called this post figs four ways but that sounds kinda shit.
Scoop out the insides of your figs – at least four of them but you can use as many as you like. Cook over low heat with a splash of sweetish white wine, some sugar, a stick of cinnamon and some finely chopped currants. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture goes dark red and thickens. Remove the cinnamon stick before it cools. Use immediately as a condiment or, if you make a bigger batch, it will store in sterilised jars for ages.