Friday 1 October 2010

Transforming our Freshly Harvested Figs into Caramelised Semi-Dried Figs

With our harvested figs taking over all our kitchen worktops, it was time for an action plan, so we decided to experiment with drying or dehydrating the fruit in an attempt to extend their rather limited shelf life (and hopefully be able to use our dining table again!).

You can read about our Fig Tree and harvesting figs here.

To dehydrate our figs, we used the following method.


Halve the figs and place skin side down on a baking tray lined with a sheet of baking paper.  Place in the oven at the lowest setting and bake for around 6 - 8 hours.   

We used a Rayburn (cast iron range cooker) instead of our normal oven, as it can operate on a really low setting.  We put the figs in overnight, and it was lovely to wake up the next morning to the gorgeous smell of caramelised figs. 

It was quite an exciting moment, as we popped open the oven to check out our results.  It was apparent that all the fresh figs had shrunk in size, dehydrated somewhat and turned into these semi but not completely dried figs.  The stems were a little crunchy, but the body of the fruits were still slightly moist.

These semi-dried figs retained all their original sweetness but in a very concentrated dosage so they could almost be classified as sickly sweet.  A great way to enjoy a high fibre, low fat snack during the day and a perfect lunch box addition.

As these are only semi-dried, they will only last a couple of weeks in an airtight container.

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