All Figged Up With Fig Jam & Fig Crostata

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Buon giorno!

Fig and Leaf copy - good

It’s here! It’s here at last! Fig Season is officially underway. Let the Figapalooza begin!

This week we’ll have 2 posts: The first will be Fig Jam and Crostata With Fig Jam. The second will be Fig Crostata  using sliced figs.

I herald the coming of the figs for this year with the simple preparations of Fig Jam and Crostata With Fig Jam!  It doesn’t get easier than this  – or more delicious. Your morning toast is about to become much more appealing. Follow my lead!

No one could be happier about the arrival of fig season than I. I think it’s in the genes. My father, Attilio, loved fresh figs and spoke of them with reverence. Whatever it is, I must have caught it, because I revel in the arrival of the first figs every year. My family has learned to love them although there isn’t much choice in the matter when figs appear at every meal in every possible way during the season. There is no way out of this one if you want to eat around here.

Fig Crostata_01

I am especially happy this fig season as I have recently planted my own fig tree which I call “Tilly” after my Dad. Tilly is young, and I really had no expectation for fruit for this year. My California friend and garden mentor, Mike Celeste, ( not related to the Celeste Fig) insisted that I would indeed have figs. I was skeptical. Mike won this one, as my little tree is producing! Although it won’t be a bumper crop, I am grateful for each precious juicy one. We have already harvested a few and they are sweet and delicious beyond my wildest dreams. There is nothing like picking a fig from your very own tree and biting into that sweet flesh right there on the spot. Sigh…

Tilly - fig tree

Fig Jam: Making this will be so easy you just won’t be able to resist making some immediately. It takes very few ingredients and not so much time. Let the figs do all the work. No skinning, not much prep. The skins are healthy for you, are not tough, and are part of the charm of figs. You can do almost anything with figs without peeling them. You can use any fig variety as long as they are ripe and sweet. The sweetest are the Mission Figs. They are dark, juicy, soft, and very easy to work with. These are the figs I use in the demonstration. The color of your fig jam will be determined by the color of your figs.  I do not preserve my jam, so the fig recipe you’ll see here must be refrigerated or frozen for longer term storage. I like this as I don’t have to fool around with wax and boiling jars etc.

Crostata?? Pie – just pie. A simple, not so typical pie – but pie all the same.

The perfect dessert using fig jam: I love Crostata With Fig Jam. It is easy to make and the reward is huge! The fact that it is a “good looker” doesn’t hurt either. Traditionally the Crostata is made as a small free form jam tart – very rustic in its imperfect appearance. You’ll find fancier ones – some with lattice tops etc., but the one we pursue here is the one you might find in a small cucina in Italy made by a nonna. It is usually made with a pie crust or pastry dough. If you’d like to use your favorite crust – have at it! My mother, Loretta, made the best crust I know of, and I use it often. Now don’t run away if you feel you are not up to the task.  To make this even easier, especially for those who are “crust-a-phobic”, today’s recipe uses frozen puff pastry. Uh-huh! It’s getting a little more interesting, isn’t it?

Just talking about figs, jam, and Crostata makes me very hungry…

Andiamo!

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FIG JAM

Fig Jam

Makes: about 2 pints

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 65-70 minutes

Ingredients:

3 lb. ripe fresh figs, washed, stems removed

3 c. sugar

2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

2 tsp. Lemon Zest

1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp. Salt

Instructions:

Chop your figs into small pieces. Remember to leave the skins on.

Fig Crostata_02

Place the figs in a pot.

Add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, and salt.

Fig Crostata_03

Combine these ingredients and begin mashing them using a potato masher or a fork. You’ll find they mash easily especially if they are very soft and ripe.(You can also use the blender.) Leaving little chunks is nice to give the jam more interest.

Turn on your heat to medium high and bring to a a strong simmer. Stir occasionally.

Fig Crostata_04

Then cover the pot and turn the heat down so that the fig mixture simmers steadily for 1 hour.

Give the mixture an occasional stir and make sure it does not burn or scorch.This is especially important in the last 1/2 hour.

You’ll see it begin to thicken.

Fig Crostata_05

After an hour, remove the cover, and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the jam is thick.

You are finished!

Fig Crostata_06

Cool completely  – you’ll see it continues to thicken as it cools.

Fill your containers and freeze the ones you want to use later.

If making crostata – I suggest you make the jam ahead. Then your crostata will only take 1/2 hour to make.

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CROSTATA WITH FIG JAM

Fig Crostata_13

Makes: 1 Crostata

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 20-25 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 Sheet Frozen Puff Pastry – thawed

1 Cup Fig Jam made from the above recipe – can make this ahead

A couple of Tablespoons Toasted Sliced Almonds

Instructions:

If you want to use your favorite pie or pastry crust – this is fine and more traditional.

If using the Puff Pastry – roll out 1 sheet to about 12-14 inches – roll it a little wider also.

You can put it on your baking sheet now and assemble there for more ease or transfer it after you put it together with a large spatula.

Make sure your jam is completely cool if you just made it, and pour it in the center of the dough.

Fig Crostata_07

Take a knife or back of a spoon and spread it out to make a nice circular center of about 8 inches inches .

Fig Crostata_08

Cut off the corners of the dough and use for something else. This will give the dough a more rounded appearance.

Fig Crostata_09

Fold the sides over about an inch or 2 leaving a nice wide center.

Fig Crostata_10Fig Crostata_11

Pierce the bottom of the jam area in a few places with a fork so it will not puff up and remain that way after cooking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden.

Fig Crostata_12

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top.

Serve: It’s really best warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. A small glass of Limoncello wouldn’t hurt.

This Crostata With Fig Jam is just about the most comforting of desserts in my book. It hits all the right notes from warm gooey sweetness to a toasty crunch and then there’s the figs…

PARLA COME MANGI!

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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

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Comments

  1. Nancy Hanks says:

    FYI Linda,

    I made the deeelicious FIG JAM on Sat 07/23…sooooeasy and yummy.
    I forgot to note qty of FIGS needed…made 2 trips……..
    1. Whole Foods Black 2 pints @4.99 each
    2. PUBLIX Mkt Brown Turkey 2 quarts @ 4.99 each
    SOoooo, I mixed em together and still came up w/
    over 4-5 8oz jars of sweet dark purple FIG JAM!!!!
    Thanks
    Nancy

    • Nancy – Terrific! So glad you had success. I love this story because it encourages using what you have. A sweet ripe fig is a sweet ripe fig! Someone is going to have sweet delicious jam for months to come – unless you eat it all and have to make more like me! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Love this recipe! My from Italy grandfather could not get enough of it and the whole family is getting some for Christmas! Thanks so much.

    • Thank you! Wonderful to know this recipe will be part of your Christmas holiday. (I just made another batch myself!- Can’t get enough!)

  3. I wonder if I could use less sugar and use coconut palm sweetener instead of sugar. I have tons of figs and really would like to make freezer fig jam. thanks

    • Gayle – As I have not used the coconut palm sweetener – I really couldn’t tell you. I will say however that the amount of sugar you use affects the “gel effect” of the jam. If you use less sugar – it may be a little runny. Mine sets up beautifully. Buona fortuna!

  4. Thanks so much for the recipe! Just got home to my fig tree bursting with ripe fruit and found your easy way to preserve them. Fig jam is simmering as I write this. Yum.

  5. Valerie Gastinel says:

    Thank you for the recipe! Made some last week and it is the best fig jam I’ve ever eaten! I too would like to use less sugar if you have any suggestions.

    • Valerie – You can cut the sugar amount, but using substitutes is not recommended for this recipe. Glad you enjoyed it!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Mmmm, I’m dreaming of ITALIAN SWEET EASTER BREAD with some of that yummy Fig Jam many of us made with the fresh figs of last summer. I just happen to have some in my freezer for this luscious occasion. For the recipe, visit my post: All Figged Up with Fig Jam and Fig Crostata. […]

  2. […] fruit, custard, whatever and are lovely for dessert or a sweet treat. For a sweet crostata , try THIS!   OR  […]