I hoped that there would still be some left when we returned. Last year (after fig season, naturally) I came across a recipe for Figs Royale.
Been dying to try it ever since.
So I had to have a serious talk with the birds. Make a pact. They could have all the figs they wanted from the tip-top of the tree so long as they left the lower ones for me.
We discussed. Negotiated. Tip-top of the tree--where exactly is that line drawn? They found loop holes. There was some cheating.
Birds are not really known for good sense. Or moral or ethical strengths.
Turkey. Silly goose. Vulture. Chicken. Cuckoo. Bird brain. Flipping the bird. For the birds.
Luckily there were plenty of figs to go around this year and I came home to just enough left on the tree.
The first step is to plump up the figs by simmering them in water.
Makes more room for filling them with pecans and honey.
Bake in a bath of port wine. Top with fresh whipped cream and serve.
This was really good. Like eating baklava with my aunt. Like touring wineries with The Husband in the Texas Hill Country. Like summer. Not at all for the birds.
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adapted from From Woodstoves to Microwaves*
about 2 dozen fresh figs
1 cup water
heaping 1/4 c finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup port wine
between 1/4 and 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
Place figs and water in a saucepan. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until figs plump up. Drain and cool. While the figs cool, combine the pecans and honey in a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 325. When cool enough to handle, make a slit in each fig. Fill each with the pecan mixture and place in a baking dish. Pour the port over the figs. Bake for about 15 minutes, basting often with the port.
Serve figs in small bowls, spooning some of the port over each serving. Top with whipped cream.
*From Woodstoves to Microwaves...Cooking with Entergy is a cookbook my grandpa gave me. It was published in 1997 by the electric company in New Orleans. It's more than a cookbook, it's New Orleans food history. The cookbook is a collection of recipes that Entergy mailed alongside it's customer's bills and used in cooking demonstrations (to show people how to use modern appliances). Recipes that reflect what the people of New Orleans eat and have eaten for many years. The introduction to From Woodstoves to Microwaves explains:
"...this cookbook is a reprint of...many recipes that are, in many respects, the essence of this city. These are as much an archive of New Orleans' culture and community as any work of history or anthropology. And with the history comes a little lagniappe--the opportunity to taste New Orleans."
One of my favorite dishes, Catfish Divan, comes from this book.
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