While WWOOFing in Turkey I had the delicious opportunity to preserve figs in the traditional village style. This involved collecting fresh figs every morning from an enormous fig tree, collecting wild herbs from the surrounding forest, and spending several days coating them in flour. While this may sound excessive, the end result was thousands of delicious and calorie-rich preserved figs.
- Black figs
- Wild thyme
- Blackberry leaves
- Collect a large number of ripe figs, ensuring that they are healthy and the skin is unbroken. It is best to pick them fresh from the ground every morning.
- Dry the figs in a shaded area outside for several days so that they become relatively firm. Remember to rotate the figs to guarantee they are dried evenly.
- Boil a large pot of water with wild thyme and blackberry leaves. Place the figs in sacks and dip them into the pot for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Lay the boiled figs on fresh cloth to dry, covering with fresh bushes to protect them from dust. Do this in an outdoor shaded place and turn them after 2 days.
- Once sufficiently dry, remove the leaves from the figs and ensure they are still in good condition.
- Finally, coat the figs lightly in flour. The best method is to do so individually, working the figs into a good round shape and ensuring all the crevices are filled.
The figs are now preserved and ready to eat. They will last for several months and can even be frozen.
This recipe can easily be modified to cater for various tastes, accessibility and time. Start with the basics and go wild!