I have a fig tree. It came with my house and I'm happy to have it but I feel very dumb because I don't know how to tell when the figs are ripe and what to do with them. Right now it has a lot of fat green figs. There are some brown figs on the ground. As the summer goes on there will be lots and lots of brown figs on the ground.
What signifies a fig that is ready to eat? And, what do I do with it?? Cut off the skin and eat it as is, or what?
When the figs turn dark, but before they fall, is the best time to eat. Someone else may have a more professional description... I use most of my figs for making jam. They are also good fresh, just off the tree. The skin is edible--it would be VERY messy to try to peel.
Fig jam is great! Or dried figs (so great because of the mass abundance of figs at fig season, just slice them twice in the shape of an X not all the way through and throw them on the drying rack... or if you have a food dehydrater... great for winter), or fig chutney. A friend made some sort of fig pasta dish which was super delicious... but Fresh Fresh Fresh!
My mom has many fig trees and some get ripe sooner than others . Figs are ripe when they are dark or blueish and are soft. I think the softer they are the riper. She makes fig preserves also but if you want them to taste like strawberry preserves put some strawberry jello in them and they taste really good . Fran
I too am awaiting my figs, this is my first tree...I love the leaves!
Here is one of my favorite appitizers...
Wrap extra thin sliced brochuetto (spelling?) with a fresh basil leaf and a thin slice of fresh fig, roll it up and insert a toothpick! Super simple to make and it's a flavor explosion. The saltiness of the ham, the spice of the basil, and the sweetness of the fig, it's wonderful. I first had these in Napa Valley while wine tasting!
I would love to get a receipe for fig jam! I love to "can". I just put up 12 dozen pints of strawberry and boysenberry jam. I'm waiting for the blackberries to ripen, they're next!
Let me know if you like the fig roll ups!
The white "juice" is latex - avoid getting it on any mucus membrane. Techincal term is "drop" that means the stem of the fruit bends down, but is still attached to the tree. Some figs remain green, so you really need to look for the drop. Eat whole off the tree with the skin. Great for diabetics.
Wash and cut stems off. Put a layer of figs in a pot an d cover with syrup. then add another layer of figs and sugar
you run out of figs or pot. cover and let stand overnight .. cook slowly for 2 to three hrs until the juice turns to syrup.
As I said before my mom uses strawberry Jello to put a strawberry flavor into the syrup which in turns makes them taste like strawberry preserves. They are very good that way.
I once went to a fancy restaurant in the California wine country and the dessert I ordered was a brioche or cream puff-thing (the shell) filled with ice cream with fig sauce on top. I swear it was the best dessert I have ever had before or since. No recipe, but you could use the recipe for preserves or jam and go from there. If the cream puff shell is too much trouble, make it easy and use something else...even those little sponge cakes they sell for strawberry short cakes would work.
We had a wonderful fig tree in FL, a Brown Turkey. They don't have any of the latex. Fresh figs are positively luscious. I don't think anyone mentioned figs stuffed with goat cheese and a half walnut--the sweetness of the fig, the creamy, slightly-salty goat cheese, and the earthy crunchy walnut. Sometimes I sprinkle a little bit of Chinese Five Spice on it and sometimes not.
I also like to make a quick and easy tart with figs, using one of those rolled up refrigerated pie rounds from Pillsbury. I have a two piece tart pan that allows the side to be removed from the bottom, leaving the tart with a crimped edge. Sometimes I place everything in the pan carefully, overlapping fruits so that it's very decorative. Other times I don't even bother with the tart pan, but just use one of the pie rounds and sprinkle everything in and overlap the pie crust a little all around the top to keep everything inside. Then place on a cookie or pizza tin. Use whatever fresh fruits are available, such as figs with peaches, blueberries, raspberries, apricots, with whatever else slivered almonds, walnuts, pinenuts, cranberries, raisins. Sometimes I use cinnamon and sugar and/or Chinese Five Spice, sometimes apricot jam for shine. No tart or pie is ever the same. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Serve at room temperature with creme fresh, whipped cream or ice cream.
Do you layer with Maple Syrup or Corn Syrup?
How do you strain the fig meat from the thick syrup?
Do you keep the syrup in the frig or do you put it up in mason jars and can?
It sounds absoultly wonderful, thanks for sharing, I can't wait until ours are ripe!
I havnt made any of the preserves. My mother does. I will write to her and ask again for that recipe as it dont sound right to me. She also just puts the figs in the refrig and freezes them. wash and freeze in a freezer bad or plastic boxes.Fran
I always wait until the fig stops feeling hard before picking. As someone above said, often, you will see splits in the skin (very shallow, not to worry) and that also means pick, eat and enjoy. My black Lab Pepper loves figs. She can tell if they are ripe and picks her own. I leave low branches for her pleasure. The tree in the photo is a Black Mission fig which I took good care of in winter.
EveSocal, I recommend you buy a Black Mission fig to go with your green (Calimyra, I think) fig. The Black Mission figs are just made for SoCAL as their name suggests.
This is a cluster on my "white" fig tree. The variety was named by my neighbor who started me off with a cutting. He brought the original over from Greece, wrapped in a blanket. These are just "golf-ball" sized, now.
They are ready to eat when the stem droops -- and the skin is soft.
Trois is right. Hold the stem -- bite the end and and just munch it in. They are delicious.
How about a cutting from your fig? Could you give me some information on how to make them grow faster here in Fla?
More water or less water. I used to have some of I think Turkey figs bought them at K-mart about 10 yrs ago and I tried to grow them . They grew all right but the figs dropped off when they were about the size of my thumb. Do figs need a lot of fertilizer? I think the kind I have is the mercerdo or spelled sort like that . My mother gave me the plant by pulling the branch down and rooting it like that. Its not growing very well. They get very big at her home in Miss and ripen before the other variety that I dont know what it is either but these she gave me are really big and kind of purpulish. and get ripe in May. Fran
This tree grows yellowish-green fruit. Very sweet, The "breba' crop is minute -- just a few fruit. Bu then it takes off. I water it when the topsoil gets bone-dry. Nothing exotic with fertilizer -- but I do feed it twice year with some pelletized dolomite limestone. (Figs are a big source of calcium.) I grow them espaliered against my southwest wall.
I am not sure how my mother makes the preserves but she cans them for sure in mason jars. I will write her and ask how she makes them again. Fran
I had that recipe copied down but it does sound weird.dont it? Fran
Flyboy, that looks like a really great fig, maybe you should patent it. I would love to have a cutting but I really think you should hold them "close to your vest" and sell little rootlings next year with that photo of the fig and the dime as a trademark. I would buy one my self for sure ($10 + shipping). I expect that it would be a pot only fig for my Zone 7B but that would be ok for me.
I have Celeste (and 4 other var.) but your fig seemed so large! I guess its the good Longboat Key weather. I'll give my Celeste an extra dose of compost, out farther from the trunk and see if that helps. Our breva crop got frosted off this year so I'll only get main, but "Wait til next year!" (as the Gators used to have to say).