Fig trees strike well from cuttings, so if you know anyone with a fabulous fig tree and you have the space in your garden, think about putting a cutting in. Autumn is the best time to take fig cuttings. Do not plant a fig close to the house, as their roots are somewhat invasive.
Purchasing fresh figs is an expensive exercise as they are difficult to transport and have a short shelf life. Luckily I have a wonderful fig tree, which last year yielded over 20 kilograms of divine figs.
Fresh figs are my favourite.
They also make a great salad treat, sliced in half and topped with goats cheese, prosciutto and drizzled with olive oil.
Recently I had figs poached with cloves, orange rind and almond slivers and cognac at my favourite Greek restaurant. Heavenly, especially served with halva ice cream!
This year my fig promises an even bigger yield. I put it down to it being the favoured shady habitat for my chickens, as it is located in their run.
My grandmother used to make fantastic fig jam. Sadly her recipe was lost, but I found a terrific one in Stephanie Alexander’s Cook’s Companion!
A simple mix of figs, lemons, sugar and water, resulted in fig jam that was as good as gran’s. However I only halved the figs for the first batch and recommend cutting them into quarters or even eigths, depending on how chunky you like your jam!
This year I am hoping to also make some fig paste and try drying some on the roof of my shed, between pieces of fly wire.
Inviting friends over for a traditional preserving afternoon is a good way to turn a mundane task into an enjoyable social one, especially if they bring their own jars and you have a huge surplus of figs!