While we were at the Bancroft Center for Sustainability on a recent Wednesday for our work-day, of one of the branches from our massive Panache fig had broken off due to the weight of so many figs. Not wanting so many unripe figs to go to waste, I remembered a recipe from Pascal Baudar in his book “The New Wildcrafted Cuisine: Exploring the Exotic Gastronomy of Local Terroir” for unripe figs in syrup. So I figured, let’s give it a shot.
1. Using a toothpick, poke around 4 holes in each fig.
I didn’t have a tooth pick … I know … who doesn’t have a toothpick? This guy! But you know what I did have? A safety pin. Its my belief in the spirit of Pascal Baudar that you use what’s available. So safety pin it is! This is probably the most tedious part of the process, you never realize how many figs are in a small pile until you have to poke four holes in each of them!
2. Place the figs in hot water and bring to a boil.
So this was probably the easiest part of the whole operation. I’m never content to do things the easy way, so lets go ahead and get a large pot of water boiling while its 95 degrees outside and stand watching it. Wait a minute Benjamin, a watched pot never boils, get the hell out of this inferno!
3. Boil for 15 minutes and change the water
4 Repeat the procedure
5. Taste of the fig, if still bitter, repeat one more time then place the figs in pint jars.
I found I only needed to do the 15-minute boil twice. After that, the figs weren’t bitter. They certainly weren’t delicious but not bitter! They also look a bit strange at this point – blanched, withered, their former glory gone with the boiling water.
6. In each jar, juice 1/2 lemon and place the slices in the jar. Also add 4 cloves in each jar.
The original recipe has the figs going into pint jars. So I deviated here. I placed my figs in a two pint jar, so a whole lemon and eight cloves. Pay no attention to the peach trimming in there – that’s for a peach Meade I’m going to make later this evening.
6. Make a syrup composed of 3 cups (600 gr) sugar and 4 cups (1 Liter) water. Bring the syrup to a boil and pour in the jars.
The final step! I’m crazy excited to see how this turns out and will report back. If you don’t, you should follow Pascal Baudar and keep an eye on the really cool stuff he’s doing. While you’re at it, you should head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of his book! For the record, I wasn’t paid by Mr. Baudar to recommend this or anything, I just think he’s doing cool stuff and more of us should be tuning in to the type of work he’s doing! I’ll update this post once the figs have sat for the requisite three weeks with a review of their taste!