Fresh figs won't be in season for another few months, and even when they do show up in markets, we don't go nuts over them. We too often get a bad batch that's mealy and bland.
Fig jams and preserves, however, are one of our favorite pantry staples. They aren't always easy to find amidst the apricot and raspberry jams on the shelves, but they are worth tracking down.
Click below for a few ways to use them in appetizers and main dishes... Figs are often seen paired with cheeses or wrapped in prosciutto, as they are a great accompaniment to savory dishes. Same goes for the preserves, in our opinion. The flavor of the preserves is more complex and less sweet than most fruit spreads, so it gives you enough of a contrast with salty items without tasting too sugary.
A friend gave us this appetizer tip, which we've used many times to great fanfare: Slice a baguette in half, lengthwise, and spread each side with fig preserves. Lay a few slices of prosciutto on top, then layer on slices of brie. Put under the broiler long enough for the cheese to melt, then slice into small sections and serve.
We've also topped crackers with ricotta and fig preserves, which almost tastes like dessert. And fig preserves would be a nice change from apricot in our Chicken with Shallot-Apricot Sauce.
In New York, we find them at Garden of Eden.
Any other uses for fig preserves out there?
Related: Seasonal Recipe Spotlight: Figs
(Image: St. Dalfour)