The fruit of these soft, yielding teardrops are actually the thousands of tiny bits within that develop inside (commonly believed to be the seeds). They are steeped in history and are thought to have originated from western Asia and apparently even feature on tomb paintings from around 1,900 BC! Unlike other fruit they tend not to ripen when picked and so are best when they are on the tree, bulging and soft. They may also show a slight fuzzy bloom at their peak. They do not transport well because of this and so are best enjoyed immediately. If you can get hold of them soft and perfectly ripe they are great with salty cured meats and cheeses. They also make for a beautiful addition to jams – a great way to savour the short lived taste!
- In large saucepan, combine 750g sugar, 500ml water, the zest and juice of 1 lemon and a sprig of rosemary.
- Bring syrup to a boil and then add 10 figs and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool in the syrup.
- When figs are cooled, transfer and store in an airtight container.
- Keep for up to three months in the fridge.
- Great for roasting or as additions to salads or perfect with cheese.