The Australian Women’s Weekly Food

WHAT’S IN Season FIGS

Fresh figs can be purple, green, white (actually pale green), or red. Different varieties differ in firmness and sweetness.

The interior of a fig is a mass of minute, edible flowers and tiny potential fruits that crunch like seeds, all embedded in soft flesh. When the fruit is fully ripe, the texture at the centre is moist and luscious.

Fresh figs are lovely to eat as they are. They are a classic first course with prosciutto or warmed and drizzled with a gorgonzola sauce; raw or grilled, they go well with hot or cold ham, pork or poultry. They can be poached or baked with sugar and a little water, plus flavourings such as orange flower water or spices. Quartered and soaked for a couple of hours in port, orange juice or an orange liqueur, they make an elegant, simple dessert.

PREPARATION

Remove the hard bit and any stalk at the stem end of fresh figs. The whole fruit is edible but can be peeled; for presentation, slit the skin downward into quarters, peeling it back like petals. Dried figs may be steamed to soften them before adding to a cake or pudding mixture.

CHOOSING

Depending on the variety,

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