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Figgy Pudding

Figgy Pudding - A number of requests about figs have reached my desk lately: where to find them, how to store them and how to use them. So I opened my personal recipe box and pulled my favorites.

Available in large supermarkets as well as specialty produce stores in many forms – fresh, plump, purple, dried and strung or packed in jars as sweet jam – each type occupies its own special niche.

The fresh ones in the produce section, usually wrapped, are often grouped with the pears. Packaged dried figs, strung in a circle, nestle among whole walnuts and almonds. Fig jam hides on the higher or lower shelves in the specialty section if not with other jams.

Figgy Pudding

The fresh fruit can be stored no longer than a week in the refrigerator. Don’t wash until ready to use. Dried figs have a much longer shelf life but should be stored away from sunlight. Each makes a unique addition to breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Spread fig jam on bread to make a warm open-faced sandwich. Top with mascarpone, the Italian cream cheese. A quick, easy centerpiece for a homemade brunch, I’ve seen a few hungry cooks press two of these together for lunch or an early supper.

Dried figs appear during the holidays. They look somewhat baffling as an ingredient. Whirl a few in the blender or food processor with oil and vinegar for a pleasing twist on salad dressing. Tossed with fresh mixed salad greens and crumbles of creamy goat cheese and they will make a boring salad sweetly memorable.

Figgy Pudding

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