10 October 2015

Figues confites au sucre

I guess the translation of the title — which means "figs slow-cooked and preserved in sugar" — would be candied figs. I hope they don't end up really tasting like candy, though. I want to eat them as a garnish with goat cheese, blue cheese, foie gras, or pâté. I'm thinking of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.

Here's the recipe (or method) I found on the web:

Figues confites
En conserve ou séchées

• Des figues
• Leur poids en sucre

Mettre les figues dans le fond d’une casserole et les couvrir de sucre. Laisser cuire 10 minutes.

Éteindre le feu, laisser les figues dans le sirop et couvrir la casserole. Réserver 24 heures et refaire
cuire 10 minutes le lendemain. Réserver 24 heures de plus dans la casserole couverte puis cuire 10
minutes une dernière fois.

Dès la fin de la cuisson, placer les figues dans des bocaux stérilisés et recouvrir de sirop. Fermer et
retourner les bocaux pour que le vide se fasse.

Ou bien, laisser les figues confites s'égoutter sur une grille et les ranger dans une boîte hermétique.

Yesterday, I used as many figs as would fit in one layer in a big, low-sided sauté pan. That turned out to be 24 figs. I weighed those and they came to 500 grams, or just over a pound. So I weighed out 500 grams of sugar and poured it over the figs.

Then I cooked the figs and sugar for 10 minutes on medium-high heat. The sugar turned into a syrup. The pan of figs in syrup spent the night down in our cold pantry, which is about the equivalent of putting it in the refrigerator overnight.

Today, I'll cook the figs a second time, as the recipe says to do. This is risky to blog about, because I don't know how it's going to come out. Hope it works — I'll let you know. Tomorrow I'll find out. I'm thinking I'll try to dry at least half the figs on a rack and put them away as directed. The other half I will put up in a jar or two in the syrup. (Jump to this post to see how the preserved figs came out.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Yesterday I also picked another "mess" of collards to cook for lunch. I cut 24 large leaves (there are six plants), washed them well, and then cut out the thick central rib of each. At that point I weighed them — I had 1.4 kg, which is the equivalent of 3 lbs. That means each trimmed leaf weighed 2 oz. (24 leaves for 48 oz.). I took about six leaves at a time, stacked and rolled them up, and cut them into strips.

This is about a quarter of the collards I harvested and cut into wide strips.

With the collards, which
I cooked for at least 2 hours
in a mixture of
chicken broth (about a liter),
duck fat (4 Tbsp.), and
white wine (one cup),
we had a grilled duck breast. This is the time of year when ducks are slaughtered in France, so it's easy to find whole ducks and parts for really good prices. This breast weighed nearly a pound
(400 g).


  1. Here's a translation of the French recipe in this blog post:

    Candied Figs
    (canned or dried)

    • figs
    • their weight in sugar

    Put the figs in the bottom of a pan and cover them with sugar. Cook for 10 minutes.

    Turn off the heat, leaving the figs in syrup and covering the pan. Set aside for 24 hours and re-cook the figs for 10 minutes the next day. Reserve for another 24 hours in the covered pan and then cook the figs for 10 minutes one last time.

    At the end of the third cooking, put the figs into sterilized jars and cover with the syrup. Put the lids on the jars and turn them upside down, covered with a towel, so that they will seal.

    Or, set the candied figs to drain and dry on a wire rack and then store them in an airtight container.

  2. J'opte également pour une 3ème cuisson qui va les attendrir un peu plus et les rendre encore plus moelleuses.
    Bonne continuation !

    1. Est-ce qu'il vaut mieux les sécher sur une grille ou les mettre en bocaux avec leur sirop, à votre avis ?

  3. This fig thing is going to be very interesting to follow. Please be sure to keep us posted, cher Ken :) I will want to see the insides, too, so I hope you'll slice and share :)

  4. I have got to go find some good fresh collards and I would love some fresh figs too! Lucky you! Do collards survive your winters there? I think they are better after a good frost. I did buy a few plants a couple of weeks ago, but I have yet to get them in the ground. I'm afraid it may be too late to plant them, but it won't hurt to try. Glad you tried my cutting method and that it worked out well. I think it is so much easier.

  5. Collards do survive our winters most years. A really hard freeze can kill them of course, but as you say the leaves benefit from frost — light freezing brings out their natural sugar. I'm actually planning to plant some more collards and some kale this week, now that our ground has dried out after all the September rains. I'll put them under a cold frame to get the plants going, and then transplant them later to space them out as needed. I'm so excited about the collards I planted last spring and am harvesting now that I'm energized.


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