Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fiberific FIG butter recipe! #GardenCuizine

 Homemade Fig Butter
 High Fiber * Honey Sweetened
Our young fig tree is still far from yielding fresh figs. Most of our South Jersey summer has been so dry that our little fig tree is happy just to be alive, let alone bear fruit. A recent culinary treat was coming across fresh figs being offered from an Italian woman nearby my office in Vineland, New Jersey. She shares her prolific organically grown fig harvest with the community.

One order, led to another and another. We have so many nutritious, fiber-rich figs, but you can only eat so many! And, unlike apples that have a decent shelf life, fresh figs only last a few days. No wonder you usually just find dried figs at the market. What can you do to preserve figs? Drying them was not an option, since we don't own a dehydrator. Fig jam came to mind. 

After making our first batch of Fig "Jam", Harry decided it was better named - Fig "Butter". Figs are rich and filling and make a spread that tasted rich, like apple butter. Apple butter just doesn't have the little visible seeds. And fyi, you can use store-bought dried figs to make nutritious fig butter - just add enough water to hydrate and soften the figs first. 

Using the recipes provided by Pomona's Universal Pectin, here is how we made our fig jam, aka fig butter, using fresh figs. Enjoy it in your sweet and savory recipes.

Yields: about 5 cups

4 cups ripe Figs (3 1/2 cups will be okay too)

1/4 cup Lemon Juice (we didn't have any fresh lemons at the time for lemon juice, so we used Key Lime Juice and it worked just fine)

Pomona Universal Pectin (a low methoxyl brand of pectin extracted from citrus peel; it comes with pectin powder and calcium powder): 3 teaspoons pectin powder; 4 teaspoons calcium water (the calcium water recipe comes with the Pomona Pectin).

1/2 cup Honey

Putting it all together

  • Wash the figs and trim off the stems.
  • Let the figs get really ripe. We put them in a plastic baggie in the fridge and in few days they were juicy and breaking open. If your figs are not really ripe and soft, you can cook them with a little water to soften them before smashing. 
  • Directly in a medium size sauce pot, smash the figs using a potato masher.
  • Add the citrus juice and calcium water. Mix well. Bring mixture to a boil.
  •  In a separate small bowl combine the pectin with the honey. I noticed if you don't combine the pectin with the sweetener first and add it directly to the fruit, it will clump up and not dissolve well.
  • Bring back to a boil. Stir in the pectin-honey blend. Remove from heat.
  • Puree the honey sweetened fig mixture in a blender or using a hand held mixer.
  • The fig mixture is ready for canning. Follow water process canning guidelines. 
Buon Appetito!

GardenCuizine Nutrient Analysis Fresh Figs: calculated from USDA nutrient values
Good Source of dietary Fiber and Potassium
3 medium Figs (150g): dietary Fiber 4g (18%DV); Potassium 348mg (10%DV); Vitamin B6 0.12mg (8%DV); Magnesium 26mg (7%DV); Calcium 52mg (5%DV); Vitamin C 3mg (5%DV); Vitamin A 213IU (4%DV); Iron .56mg (3%DV)
Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a caloric intake of 2,000 calories for adults and children age 4 or older
Related Links
Figs Fruits and Veggies More Matters
Pomona's Universal Pectin
Fig Butter, Goat Cheese and Carmelized Onion Crostini recipe

Photo collage and blog post Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved.

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