The Black Jack fig tree finally produced enough figs this year to make something!
It turns out you can harvest figs before they are ripe and finish ripening them indoors. The key work there is “finish”. As long as the fig has started to ripen on the tree, the process will continue after picking.
Figs ripen similar to bananas – with a process which involves ethylene gas. Bananas produce a lot of this gas, which is why bananas in a paper bag ripen quickly. Placing figs in a paper bag or box will hold the ethylene gas and help the figs ripen naturally. If you don’t have too many figs, adding a banana to to the bag/box will help.
The recipe this year is for Fig Pecan Butter.
- 10 lbs of fresh ripe figs
- 1 lb pecans
- 8 oz raw or brown sugar (or Muscavado)
- 2 oz real vanilla extract
- 12 oz Apple juice concentrate (optional)
Remove any stems from the figs and then process them in a food processor to your desired consistency – slightly chunky, puree, or liquified.
Process the pecans until mostly powder with some very small pieces.
Combine all the ingredients.
Unless you have very large commercial pans, you will need to cook the mix in batches.
Cook to reduce. The target consistency will be something that will “pile up” in the pan.
Be very careful not to burn the mix – the sugar content is concentrating as the liquid cooks off.
If you cooked the mix in batches, it is helpful to combine the results in a mixing bowl to end with a common consistency.
The Fig Pecan Butter may be portioned into zip-lock bags and stored in the freezer or you can try your hand at canning. If canning, it’s best to heat the entire batch before filling the canning jars and then processing in a water bath to seal the jars.
The Fig Pecan Butter is much too tempting. It goes great on a tradition scone, English muffin, crumpet, or for a holiday treat, spread on top of a Brie wheel before wrapping the whole thing in buttered Filo dough and baking!