Friday, September 7, 2012

Turkey’s fig season lasts for what seems like a fleeting moment here.

The figs are always stacked nicely at the pazar.
The season started a month ago with the appearance of the large green-skinned figs at the pazar, but I don’t like those as much as the dark purple ones. 

The purple figs are sublime! They burst with fresh figgy flavor, and I love every moment they are in season. My cousin from Nebraska tried his first fresh fig when he visited us last month.

During the last two weeks, I’ve put these purple incir in salads, in my breakfast yogurt, a peach-fig cobbler, and several fig and frangipane tarts. You can find these popular fig tarts at Denizen Coffee in Sultanahmet.
My favorite way to use Turkish figs - in a fig & frangipane tart.
You can enjoy yours with a cup of coffee at Denizen Coffee, located in Sultanahmet in Istanbul.
Then, just the other day, I stumbled upon a recipe for homemade raspberry vinegar; and I thought, why can’t I make this with these tasty Turkish figs?

This is a recipe that you must make NOW! The figs need to steep for 3 weeks so the vinegar can extract all the fig flavor.

But if you wait, the fig season might end before you have a chance to make this recipe.

I’m already envisioning a roka salad with goat cheese and sliced dried figs drizzled with this fresh fig vinegar. Figs and goat cheese go together like peanut butter and jelly do!

Afiyet olsun!
My Turkish fig vinegar is currently steeping in these jars on my kitchen counter.
You also might like this fig recipe from last year: Incir ve Fındık Pasta (Fig and Hazelnut Pastry or Rugelach).

Fresh Fig Vinegar/Taze Incir Sirkesi
(I made a double recipe of the one below as I plan to give a few small bottles of this vinegar to friends.)

500             ml.         üzüm sirkesi (Turkish version of red wine vinegar) You also could use white vine vinegar.
200            g.            (about 6-8 figs) fresh figs, sliced in quarters
2 ½            Tablespoons       honey
1                Tablespoon         black peppercorns

In a medium-sized pot, combine all ingredients. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often, so the mixture doesn’t burn.

Ladle the vinegar mixture into a clean, large jar. Seal and store at room temperature for about 3 weeks to allow the flavors to infuse.

Then, strain the vinegar through a coffee filter, which will help remove the sediment and solids. Press down on the figs to extract as much juice as possible.
Place the vinegar into new clean bottles.

Seal the bottle or jars, and store in the refrigerator until needed.

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

i have been eating figs from my fig trees and guess what they are called? brown turkey fig trees! i thought it was like gobble gobble but now i know better.

Jake Bialos said...

I will be making this RECIPE and thinking Turkish when i DO! Thanks! Love me some Fig Vinegar and will be even better HOME MADE...

Joy said...

@Joyce, you have real fig trees and Turkish ones at that? You lucky duck! Enjoy them while you can.

@Jake, You are welcome! I hope you enjoy. Much easier and cheaper to make this vinegar home than buying some fancy brand at a gourmet shop. :)

BacktoBodrum said...

What a good idea - hadn't occurred to me before, but will try it. We are loving the fig jam I made at the week end.

Karen said...

My American experience of figs was fig newtons. Not the greatest of introductions. I also love to pair figs and goat cheese. First, I slice them in half, top with a slice of goat cheese, and then drizzle with honey, and top with a toasted walnut. Warm for 10 minutes and voila! Fantastic.

Joy said...

@BacktoBodrum, I may be making some fig jam too! Great way to use up the really soft figs! :)

@Karen, How funny! I called my dad last night and was telling him about our fresh figs now. He says the only thing he's ever had is fig newtons too so I can keep my figs and eat all I want! Yes, dad, thank you!

You also have a great idea for figs. Simple snack/appetizer!