Figs and other Fun Things


So your going to have some people over for dinner. Your going to try to impress them, make a nice meal, maybe braise some lamb and saute some good veggies from your local market. Maybe your going to make a tart or a cake. Your going to put some effort in.

So you go to the store because you forgot that you need to buy some cheese for the cheese and meat plate that you’ll put out while you drink your glass of wine and great your guests. You need to buy some of that fancy jam that costs $8.00 for 250mL to put out on your cheese plate and then you buy some expensive balsamic to dress the salad. Your finishing touches just cost you $25.00.

But that won’t happen to you! Because you’re reading this post which means you now know that all you need are some dried figs and some really cheap balsamic. I spend $6.50 on a liter of balsamic. Buy the crappy stuff. Buy some decent figs, black mission figs if you can find them, and you’ll take them home simmer them for a couple hours and you’ll have really good balsamic. It will be sweet, it will be fruity and it will taste like the good stuff.

And the figs that have been poaching away with them will be transformed into a beautiful jam for your cheese plate. You’ll mix in some honey, maybe some vanilla, maybe some rosemary, maybe both if you have them on hand and you’ll through it in your food processor and out comes fancy homemade fig and balsamic jam. Not bad for 10 minutes of work and less then ten dollars!

Fig Balsamic

1L Balsamic Vinegar, don’t bother with the good stuff

2 cups Dried Figs, Black mission figs if you can

Cut the woody end of the figs off and pour into a heavy bottomed pot with the vinegar. Do not use an aluminium pot or your vinegary will taste like aluminium.

Simmer for about 2-3 hours.

Strain it, you now have your vinegar. That was easy right?

Balsamic Fig Jam

2cups Dried Figs that we’re simmered in balsamic for at least 2 hours

2/3 cup Honey or to taste

1 tsp Vanilla

1 sprig Rosemary, finely chopped

Put figs back on to the stove and cover with water. Add honey and bring to a simmer

Once figs are hot put them in your food processor and puree until smooth, add in the vanilla and the rosemary and pulse to combine.

Put in a jar and it’s ready to serve!