5 Ingredients or Fewer

Miele di fichi (Fig Honey)

August 19, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Makes approx. 2 cups
Author Notes

Not actually honey, but a honey-like syrup made from dried figs - an age-old recipe from Puglia in southern Italy. Traditionally used in pastry-making, such as for cartellate, beautiful crinkle-edged little pastries, it is also well-suited to roast meats (try it as a glaze for roast pork or duck), particularly game. It's wonderful for dessert with ice cream or as part of an after-dinner cheese plate and it makes a nice alternative to honey for vegans. —Emiko

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds dried figs
  • 1 gallon water
  1. Cut figs in half and place in a large pot with the water. Bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for about an hour or until the liquid is reduced by at least half and the figs are soft.
  2. Drain the figs and their liquid in a muslin-lined sieve over a bowl. When the figs are cool enough to handle, bring the edges of the muslin together and give it a good squeeze to remove as much liquid as you can. Place the strained liquid into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for about twenty minutes or so to reduce further and set. You can see if the syrup is at setting point by keeping a saucer in the freezer and testing several drops of hot syrup on the cold plate for a dense, honey-like consistency.
  3. Pour the fig honey into clean, sterilised, warm jars and seal as you would a jam.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • CatalunaLilith
  • Emiko
  • Julie
  • ProtosTelos

8 Reviews

Julie August 21, 2013
In using fresh figs, would you use the same amounts (2 lbs fresh to 1 gal water?) I have a giant fig tree out front and can't eat them fast enough. Made tons of jam already, so I'm excited to try something new - this sounds wonderful.
Emiko August 21, 2013
When I made it with fresh figs I just improvised with the measurements, to be honest (you do want to cover the figs with water) but for the outcome, I did read that 20 kg of mature figs produce 1 litre of honey, so if you go by those ratios, 2 lbs of fresh figs would yield just 1.5 oz (about 2 tablespoons)! So you'll want to do a huge batch to make it worth while, say 20 lbs of figs.
ProtosTelos August 20, 2013
Sounds delicious! Do you think this would work with fresh figs as well?
Emiko August 20, 2013
Yes, it does, in fact the original recipe is for very ripe figs, which results in a similar though slightly more opaque honey-like syrup. I rewrote the recipe to use dried figs as it's a bit easier for those who aren't blessed with fresh ones and also results in a denser syrup. Both good!
happymontycooks August 20, 2013
This sounds delicious. I'm thinking any dried fruit (or mixture of dried fruit) would do? The trick is to not eat all the dried fruit before using it in this recipe. Such a challenge.
Emiko August 20, 2013
I've tried this also with dried apricots, but you don't get the same "honey" as you do with the figs. The apricots result in an apricot jam rather than a syrup - it's delicious and you could fool people into thinking you'd made it from fresh apricots, but it's not the same. The fig seeds have pectin in them that create that marvellous texture from the fig-soaked water - it's quite a unique thing! Do share the results if you try other dried fruits!
CatalunaLilith August 20, 2013
On a scaling down note, if you only want a big jar of it and not a restaurants worth this works fine with 8ox of dried figs and a quart (that's four cups) of water in a medium pot
Emiko August 20, 2013
You could easily scale it down but I'd recommend going with this amount, which makes only just 2 cups worth (that's one big jar) - trust me, you'll use it up in no time! Also, it keeps very, very well - when sealed properly it will last a year, and once opened in fridge it lasts a very long time too, if you don't eat it all first that is! ;)