We are feeling fortunate this Fall is turning out to be a banner year for figs. We knew our King Fig tree was working overtime as we watched fruit after fruit start growing on the good-sized, but quite manageable tree we have in the corner of our back yard. The branches got so heavy that some even drooped down and touched the ground. The figs are getting wonderfully ripe and we’ve been going out every day for the last week to pick bowls full.
We’ve learned how to tell the figs are ripe as they get very soft and plump and so easy to snap from the branches. If allowed to go even a day or two beyond ripeness, they will split and fall to the ground. Fortunately, the chickens absolutely love the dropped fruit and we’ve been tossing the extra soft ones into the run for them to devour.
So far, we’ve made up some fig preserves; we generally use jars of this as a roasting marinade for pork and ham throughout the winter–this makes for the most incredibly delicious pork loin roasts and pork chops! We also made up a batch of ginger honey fig jam as an experiment–making jam with honey can be a bit of a challenge and this recipe is a bit heavy on the ginger to balance out the sweetness of the honey. And, of course, we are drying the ripe figs in the dehydrator–so yummy and useful!
With such a bumper crop of figs, we’ve also created a jam for the Raggedy Hen Farm store–Ginger Vanilla Fig! Freshly cooked figs (within minutes of coming off our tree they are bubbling away on the stove), with organic vanilla bean and organic ground ginger. This jam is delicious and useful–great served over cream cheese with crackers, so yummy on waffles or biscuits, and you could even stir this into a salad dressing or make a meat marinade.