Recently in the market here, I found figs. Not knowing what to look for, I purchased a bag and got home only to find that they were quite green. Unfortunately, it turns out that green figs don’t ripen once picked. The reason they are sold green here is because most Guatemalans make them into candied figs which are sold as “dulces tipicos” or local sweets.
Since I’ve had these many times before, I wanted to do something a bit different and decided to pair some ginger and lime with the figs. The result was these succulent, sweet figs with a touch of spice from the ginger. The lime isn’t actually noticeable, but does a lot to brighten the flavor of the figs. All in all, the recipe was a success . . . as evidenced by the distinct lack of candied figs in our house at the moment. Hubby, kids and in-laws ate them all in three days (over 100 figs) and my husband has since brought me another bag of green figs which is waiting in the fridge right now to be made into a second batch.
Green Figs in Ginger Syrup
100 green figs
1 inch ginger root
3 T. lime juice (lemon can be used, as well)
5 c. sugar
5 c. water
First of all, you’ll need to find the figs. They should still be green and firm to the touch, like these.
Cut off all the long tips. You’ll notice a sticky white sap coming out the top. This actually gives the figs a really bad taste, though it is used as a home remedy for some things. It can irritate the skin, so rinse it off if you get any on you.
Put the figs in a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 min.
Drain the water and refill the pot. Bring to a boil again and boil for another 10 min. This sounds rather tedious, but it means great tasting figs at the end of it all!
Finally, drain and let the figs cool. Then take each one and squeeze out the water. Careful not to do this while they are too hot or you will definitely burn yourself . . . the water inside is much hotter than the skin of the fig. I speak from experience on that one.
At this point, your figs will look pretty sad and pathetic, but not to worry, we’ll soon cheer them up!
In a large pot, mix the sugar and water and heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the squeezed figs and bring to a boil. Let them cook at a rolling boil for about an hour. You’ll see that they have really plumped up.
Add the ginger at this point. Lower the temperature and simmer for another 30 min. Then turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice and leave them to sit in the hot syrup. Once cool, you can serve them in the syrup . . .
or you can drain them and let them dry out a bit for a sweet candy treat.
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