August 18, 2007

Market to Table - Certaldo- Francesca's Figs

Spending more time out in Certaldo, most of my best new recipes come from Francesca at Saturday's Market in Certaldo.
She only sells from her own farm and that of an aunt, so what you see is what you get.

Today I saw the first figs!

We picked up a whole tray of them when she gave me a recipe for Fichi Sciroppati- figs in syrup, a classic way to preserve figs for winter.

There are several food laws in Italy on how to eat and what to eat.
  1. Salami and Figs
  2. Pecorino cheese and pears
  3. Prosciutto and Melon

So I held back on some of the figs to celebrate the first figs of the seaons, right off her trees this morning. When you eat the a fruit for the first time in a season, you get to make a wish!

Francesca's recipe is to place the figs in a saucepan ( weigh them first)
cut a lemon as thin as possible and put on top.
I used 700 grams of figs, and half a lemon for this saucepan.

Cover with their weight in sugar and let cook over a low heat.

The sugar turns to liquid and the figs poach, soaking up the lemon infused syrup.
I let them slowly cook for about 45 minutes.

The finished fig

Place the figs in a clean glass jar
and pour Brandy on top!

Cover and keep for this winter!

Mille Grazie Francesca!

She says to serve them on toasted bread, slathered with marscarpone cheese and a fig on top!

Sounds like one of the deadly sins to me!


  1. Palma7:04 PM

    Oh YES! I can't wait!

    I was served figs with prosciutto in Umbria this summer, but I am not a purist. I would eat figs with ANYTHING!

  2. Judy - these look great. Our markets are being innundated with figs from CA right now. I wonder if fig trees would grow in my area?

    1. Anonymous4:02 AM

      They grow very well in Seattle

  3. Jerry, they may have a hard time in the winter!!!

    But I read about a guy that protected his tree by wrapping it in hay!

    try googling fig trees in Canada!!!

  4. Fig trees grow very well in Vancouver!

  5. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Oh My Goodness - I just bought figs from my farmer's market in Virginia. I was content eating them by themselves, with cheese, with arugula but NOW I know what I will do with them. YUMMM - Thanks for posting this!!!

  6. Oh. My. Gosh.

    I am salivating!

  7. That looks awfully good. I need a fig tree..

  8. Palma. they are great with prosciutto, but with salami... the contrast is even better!

    Ed.. although we have fig trees all over the place in the countryside around us, my husband is also fantisizing about having his own fig tree!

  9. These look great, but I'm confused. You said you used 700 grams of figs, then later you say "I removed them and put the remaining figs and added another half a sliced lemon". What remaining figs? How many figs did you use in all? Did you add more sugar the second time? Am I just being dense?

  10. I want to make this as soon as my figs are ripe, but I am confused by the final step. Do you actually add brandy to them in the jar, or are you referring to the syrup they cooked in? Many thanks for this idea!

  11. I made these this morning as we have had such an abundant season of figs this year and I had a few just begging to do something different with them. This fit the bill. Diane, I had a lot of syrup, so I left a little of the syrup out and kept some space at the top and filled the rest of the jar with some brandy. It seems about right.

  12. yes- pour the brandy on top- helps put a final seal on the liquid and adds extra flavor.

  13. I LOVE FIGS! Cut in half with a little gorgonzola in the center then wrapped in proscuitto is an explosion of flavor. I had a treat when last visiting my family near Naples in September....2 huge old fig trees covered in figs. We made fig jam, which I brought home, and ate figs everyday. My fig tree I planted 2 years ago in Seattle is growing very slowly, no figs yet :(

  14. This sounds super yummy, however figs would not last that long in our house. My husband and I go nuts when they are in season and eat them straight from the tree!

    I also like to break rules living in Italy and I put parmesan cheese on everything, spicy pasta and pasta with fish! Oh, yes, yes, I do. But then again, I add peproncino to everything I eat!

  15. Those are beautiful. I have never preserved figs. I often do peaches in brandy. We always enjoy opening up a jar at Christmastime.

  16. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Made my second batch today. Love Love Love these.... I'm keeping the excess syrup for French Toast because I do not want to waste a gram. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  17. Wondering what people's ratio of syrup to brandy is...and do or can you put in hot water bath to seal? Is that even necessary?