Thursday, 8 January 2015

Green figs in a bottle


Figs were probably one of the first plants cultivated by humans.
Green fig preserve will always be a favourite in our house.  During the month of January we do a lot of canning and jamming.  

The variety that grows in our garden is all white inside.  According to the history of our fig trees they were acquired in Riversdale, Western Cape and then planted in the garden.  
The trees does not grow very tall but the fruits are delicious.
Our fig trees is doing well and bears an abundance of fruit. 
I am not the only person to get inspiration from a fig tree.  
The ancients wrote poetry and sang sons about figs.  Fig trees are one of the first plants mentioned in the Bible.    
This beautiful small painting by Julian Merrow-Smith is one of my favourites. 
 We make our green fig preserve whole in syrup and flavoured every batch with something different.  
As we only use 3 kg of figs per batch there is plenty to go.  I follow and old recipe from Mrs Van Tulleken 

You will notice that the foreword was written by Isie K Smuts
Isie Smuts was the wife to the then President Genl. Jan Smuts 
The basic recipe 

Ready for use 
The scraping and cross section process.  
We add some leaves during the boiling process to retain the colour of the figs.  
Our varieties of figs in a bottle include the following

We make them with paper-thin slices of lemon and ginger and this pleasure is served with buttermilk biscuits.

There is the fig and walnut conserve.


I also make fig conserve with lavender, pine nuts and port.

Our fig preserve is use to make my Granny's voluptuous fig plated bread

A favourite at De Oude Huize Yard is Sweet potato cake served with green figs.

Figs are Delicious halved or quarted in a salad with goat's cheese and biltong and then drizzle with a little of herb salad dressing.

I found this wonderful Clafoutis here 
Clafoutis is more commonly made with cherries and consists of a batter poured on top of the fruit and baked in the oven. The recipe is the same for figs.

Fig clafoutis with almonds 
10 ripe figs
100g butter
100g brown sugar
Few drops vanilla essence
4 whole eggs
100g powdered almonds
50cl crème liquide
60g maize flour
50g flaked almonds
Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt butter in a saucepan till it becomes foamy then remove from heat and set aside. Using a pastry brush spread a little melted butter on the base and sides of an oven dish and sprinkle with a little sugar. Cut figs in quarters and place in dish.
In a food processor, mix eggs, brown sugar, vanilla essence, powdered almonds, cream, melted butter and maize flour until well combined (about 2 minutes). Pour the batter over the figs and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Then lower temperature to 160°C, sprinkle clafoutis with flaked almonds and cook for a further 15-20 minutes. Insert the point of a knife – if it comes out clear, it’s done.
Serve warm or cold with pouring cream.

Lots of blessing from South Africa 
Sandra 

Thank you for all the wonderful friends whom are sharing this story!!!