The all too brief season of figs will soon be upon us. Fig trees are a treasure of the European garden that are a surprisingly easy fruit to grow in the Pacific Northwest. These spreading, rambling trees can produce 1-2 crops of delicious fresh figs a year if given enough warmth and heat. Even in cooler temperatures you will be rewarded with at least 1 crop.
An unusual but delicious fruit, figs possess a very dynamic flavor making them a great addition to a number of dishes. They are wonderful on puff pastry sheets with goat cheese, roasted with bacon & chile, fresh with blue cheese & a honeycomb, these are just a few of my favorites but options are endless! To assist in narrowing your search for the perfect fig combo here is a chutney I rather enjoy which also takes advantage of a co-season rarity to the fig: fresh quince.
Quince & Fig Chutney
6 Large - Fresh
10 - Fresh
Quince or 8 Medium Apples (about 3 lbs)
Green Cardamom Pods
Let’s Get Started!
Rub quince with a damp paper towel to remove fuzz. Cut 4 quince (6 apples) into large pieces (no need to peel, core, or remove seeds). Place in a large heavy pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until quince are very soft, 60–75 minutes. Halve the figs, or quarter if very large. Shell cardamom & grind in mortar & pestle; zest lemon, then juice (should yield about 1/4 cup)
Strain cooking liquid into a large bowl; discard quince. Wipe out pot; reserve.
Meanwhile peel, core, and thinly slice remaining 2 quince. Add to quince pot along with lemon zest and juice, sugar, cardamom, figs, and reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and very gently boil, stirring often and skimming surface occasionally, until quince is translucent and a spoon dragged across pot leaves a line that quickly disappears, 25–30 minutes, or 40–50 minutes if using apples.
Divide preserves among jars. Let cool; cover and chill.
Preserves can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.