I love figs. Fresh and dried, black, brown or green. But I admit I am not that creative with their use. I snap them up when I see them, but often can’t seem to move past wrapping them in prosciutto or roasting them draped with bacon. But eventually, one batch of figs ended up, after much thought, candied. I was, if I may say, quite pleased with the result. Sweet, treacly, syrupy figs that are great on their own, but also make an amazing accompaniment to good vanilla ice cream, or tangy Greek yogurt. And candied figs are a stunning partner on a plate of salty, rich, creamy cheeses, maybe with a few walnuts on the platter as well.
about 10 – 12 fresh black figs
2 cups sugar
2 ½ cups water
Wipe the figs with a damp paper towel to clean. In a medium saucepan, the size to hold the figs in one layer covered by the liquid, stir together the sugar and 2 cups water. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Drop in the figs, bring back to a low boil, then reduce to the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer the figs for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the figs from the heat and leave overnight in the covered pan. The sugar syrup may crystallize, which is fine.
The next day, add the remaining ½ cup water and bring the figs in syrup back up to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep the syrup a loose, maple syrup consistency. Remove from the heat to cool, before placing in a jar, covered with the syrup. Figs will keep tightly sealed up to a week. If the syrup crystallizes, heat over low heat with a splash of water to thin.