Having a fig tree for many people can be a curse. They are prolifically messy. The birds peck at them and they go SPLAT! We have a very large fig tree in the backyard and every year, I am faced with the task of trying to figure out what the bloody hell to do with them! I love them raw with goat cheese and drizzled with balsamic glaze.
The two compotes below are good on oatmeal, waffles, ice cream – what ever hits your fancy.
½ lb fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
3 Tbs unsalted butter
3 Tbs dark brown sugar
3 Tbs honey
Pinch of kosher salt
Preheat your broiler. Add butter, brown sugar, and honey to a cast-iron pan or a medium broiler-proof sauté pan. Cook for about 1 minute over high heat, stirring frequently, until syrup begins to bubble. Add figs and stir to coat them with the syrup.
Place pan under broiler to caramelize figs. Protecting your hand with an oven mitt or towel, swirl the pan a few times over the next 5 minutes to prevent sugar and figs from burning. The figs are done when the syrup is thickened slightly and amber in color, and the edges of the figs are dark and glossy. Remove the pan from the broiler and serve figs while they’re still warm.
Zesty Fig Compote
4 cups fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
1 tsp jalepeno, seeded and diced (optional)
½ tsp orange zest
½ cup orange juice
3 Tbs honey
Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes and remove from heat. Let cool. Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Serve over ice cream.