Intro: Italian Style Fig Candy
Figs are interesting. They have long been a part of Roman/Italian cuisine. Their hue and flavor distinguish them. Their texture enlivens them. They are interesting eats. I didn't see any sticky candied figs out there so I thought I would give it a shot. I based this idea off of candied orange peel and the canning recipes I saw for figs. I was going for more crystalline consistency like the Italian lemon drops of my childhood but the effect I got was different, more chewy and molasses like. I tried to get a purple candy color but the browning of the sugar killed it. Maybe a purple powdered sugar coating to make less sticky and give that extra element next time. Still the result is tasty. Enjoy!!!
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
pre dried figs (the ratio of figs to the latter ingredients determines the thickness and consistency of the candying) 1/4 of a pound
pre cooked beets (roughly 2)
squeeze or two of lemon
2-3 cups of sugar (normal granulated)
2-4 spoonfuls of honey
blue food dye 2 drops
chilli pepper 2-6 dashes- used to add undertones
powdered ginger 1 dash
2 cups of water
pot with lid
measuring cup (for sugar)
Step 2: Prep Work
Remove stems from figs and cut into slices of your desired size.
Put the water on boil adding in three of the pre cooked beet pieces and the 3 dashes of chili powder and dash of ginger
Cover pot and wait for it to boil
Heat for an additional 2-3 minutes on high heat
Swap second set of pre cooked beets in and add a squeeze or two of lemon and a dash of salt and two drops of blue food coloring
Your pot is now prepped set to high heat
Step 3: Cooking
Add 1.5 to 2 cups of sugar
Add fig slices into pot
Add 2 -4 spoon fulls of honey
Set timer for 10 minutes
Cover pot and leave on high
I used a kitchen fan to draw off steam
Occasionally stir and mind pot
I kept watch on the carmalazation of sugar. When the water has mostly boiled off the consistency changes. The brown deepens. The mixture is less runny. The figs take on a glazed look
Step 4: Cooling
I strained off the simple syrup using a strainer then placed the candy on wax paper to cool.
I poured some extra simple syrup in a blob ontop in the middle to see if it would by itself turn into tasty candy.
Let it cool for 30 minutes.
Do all your prep like laying this sheet out and having the strainer at ready before you get here otherwise you will have a mess on hand!!!
Soak and clean as soon as you can because the candy sets.
I might add powdered sugar to the sheet and to the candy at this stage in the future.
Step 5: Ta Da
It tastes better than it looks I swear. The chilli pepper, ginger, and lemon add some hidden notes. The sugar, honey, and natural sweetness of the figs have an interesting interplay. The texture is carmally and crunchy from the seeds. There are earthy and fruity notes. I might tone down the sweetness in future batches but this dish pairs well with wine or cheese. A nice desert to savory food such as book roast. To be honest I don't even like figs naturally so I fiddled and tasted what I had in the kitchen to try to bring out the tart notes and blend them with sweet. I actually like the mouth feel overall. Definitly a work in progress but fun to make and good to eat.