Fichi Caramellati (Caramelized Figs)

By • October 9, 2009 • 11 Comments



Author Notes: inspiration from a year in Italy - LouliesLoulies

Food52 Review: This recipe is originally from Joyce Goldstein's Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen. We liked how you keep the figs whole, adding just a sliver of lemon zest, much as you might slip garlic in lamb, and uses rapid heat and a fragrant syrup (rum, sugar, vanilla bean) to quickly soften the fruit and glaze it. By the time the figs come out of the pan, they look laquered, collapsed but still intact -- and wonderfully fragrant. We ate the figs over Greek yogurt, but a dollop of mascarpone or ricotta would have done the job, too. If you have some leftover, we think it makes a perfectly acceptable breakfast: figs, yogurt and a little kick of rum. Which reminds us, the rum in the recipe is optional. In our minds, it is not! - A&MA&M

Serves 6-8

  • 2 pounds ripe figs, washed
  • Lemon zest strips, 1-inch long and 1/4-inch wide (pith removed)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Rum, as needed (optional)
  • Vanilla Bean
  1. Place whole figs in a deep, wide saucepan. Cut a small slit at the top of each fruit and insert a lemon zest strip into each slit. Sprinkle sugar over figs. Add water, or part water/part rum, to a depth of 1/4-inch in the pan. Place a vanilla bean in the center of the pan.
  2. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until sugar caramelizes, 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.
  3. Note: Pears can be prepared the same way: peel, halve, and core, then poach in simple syrup or wine with strips of lemon zest and vanilla bean. They take longer to cook than the figs.

Tags: Jewish, simple

Comments (11) Questions (0)

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almost 2 years ago the mad gourmet

I have a lovely problem right now. The fig tree that I couldn't resist at Whole Foods two years ago is now so high that I can't reach all the figs. Living in central New Jersey, my husband laughed at me and called me very hopeful if I thought I would ever get any figs! With my bountiful harvest, I made a lovely fig chutney based off of this recipe, quartering the figs and seating a lemon. It is delicious over ice cream and even better on pound cake!!! I hope it freezes well because I'm blessed with about two dozen figs a day right now! Thanks for the inspiration,

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about 3 years ago eternalgradstudent

I made this last night for a friend, but with pears. It was amazing!! I served it with greek yogurt with about a tablespoon of honey mixed in. The rum-vanilla syrup and the tangy sweet yogurt was the perfect accent for the fruit! Can't wait to try it with figs next time.

Smsnyc2

over 4 years ago SarahS

I'm thinking of making this for New Year's eve meal. I mean, dessert - can't wait to eat this again.

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over 4 years ago newbiecook

Unless otherwise noted, this is Joyce Goldstein's recipe from her 2005 book "Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen"

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over 4 years ago eawnyc

I forgot to thank you for this. I served this with mascarpone. What if anything would you serve with the pear preparation?

Mcvl

almost 5 years ago mcvl

This is a lovely, lovely idea, especially the adorable little lemon-tongues peeping out of the figs' mouths. My husband said, comparing it to the fig clafoutis, that it would be a much better way to convince somebody to like figs. The figs in the clafoutis are swept up in a mad waltz of butter and cream and honey and spice and zest and apple brandy. Here, figs are front and center; the other ingredients bow graciously. We followed A&M's suggestion and served them with Greek yogurt. (Tomorrow morning we'll follow their suggestion and have the rest for breakfast.) I scaled the recipe back from roughly 50 figs (2 pounds) to 15 figs, four servings (two tonight, two tomorrow). Am I the only one who needs to scale all these recipes back?

Mcvl

almost 5 years ago mcvl

And we did indeed have more figs for breakfast with Zoom, a hot whole-wheat cereal, and unsweetened Silk. I had used a Meyer lemon for the lemon peel, and in the morning the figs were suffused with that Meyer perfume, much stronger than either the vanilla or the rum. So good!

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almost 5 years ago AmeliaPS

delizioso!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

So simple! I'm trying this one!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

So simple! I'm trying this one!

Stringio

almost 5 years ago testkitchenette

Love it!