Fig Time in NC!

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If you have never tasted fresh figs, then you are missing out on one of the south’s greatest fruit treats. Though they are delicious, it can be a challenge to find figs for sale, even at farmer’s markets and farm stands. This is because figs do not store well and have a shelf life of only a few days at best. If you want fresh figs, your best option is to plant a fig bush. Luckily, figs thrive in our region and are one of the easiest fruits to grow.

Not only are figs delicious, but they also add nutrients and minerals to your diet, without adding any fat. One serving of dried figs equals 1/4 cup, or about three to five figs, and provides about 5 grams of fiber (insoluble and soluble). Compared with other common fruits, figs have the highest content of minerals (potassium, iron), and their calcium content is second to oranges.

Did you also know that figs are considered functional foods? Functional foods are those foods that naturally contain certain substances that have benefits beyond the basic nutrition and may prevent disease or promote health. Dried figs contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential amino acids. They also contain phytosterols, which are credited to decrease the synthesis of cholesterol in the body, thus decreasing the total levels of cholesterol. Figs also contain substances (benzaldehydes, coumarins) that may help prevent certain types of cancers.

Here is a yummy recipe perfect for the Fall season! With fresh figs and lots of seasonal spices, your kitchen will smell delightful and folks will gather to taste the goodness!


Prep: 30 mins                      Cook: 1 hr 30 mins

Servings: 18                        Yield: 1 – 9×13 inch pan

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups white sugar

1 cup butter

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup chopped fresh figs

1 cup chopped pecans

½ cup butter

½ cup white sugar

½ cup evaporated milk

½ teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

Step 1

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Mix together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Step 2

In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup butter and 1 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped figs and pecans.

Step 3

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Step 4

To make the icing: In a large saucepan, mix together butter, sugar, evaporated milk and baking soda. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Then cook without stirring until the mixture turns brown, or until it reaches the soft ball stage on a candy thermometer (234 degrees F – 115 degrees C). Cool to lukewarm (110 degrees F). Pour into a small bowl and beat until it thickens to spreading consistency. Quickly spread icing onto the cooled cake.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

349 calories; protein 4.2g 8% DV; carbohydrates 37.2g 12% DV; fat 21.4g 33% DV; cholesterol 74.2mg 25% DV; sodium 332.5mg 13% DV