The Aegean region is literally exploding with this sensitive little fruit. Hence the name! Every where you look, it's distinct leaves still green even in the heat with fruits bursting about. Literally you know if they are ripe when soft and the end splits open, dripping a sweet nectar. Although they dry so well I don't know how to do this (anyone? storage tips?). They spoil really quickly and don't keep all that great in the fridge so what was I going to do with all these sensitive little figs?
My maximum personal consumption tops at just one or two per day.
At the house sat some from the pazar, some from the trees around the neighborhood, a few really juicy ones from the farmer's tree where my husband and baby girl had gotten the fresh eggs that morning. They were already split wide open from someones tiny two year old fingers digging into that juicy, gooshy center.
I got on the internet and adapted from there...
This recipe calls for 4 cups of figs and I was surprised I didn't quite have enough so I added grapes. They are also exteremely plentiful right now. Other recipes called for raisins so why couldn't I add grapes? Also an after thought was the dried Iranian dates that had hardened and need to be used up.
This recipe is adapted from the California fig site, Fresh Fig Bars...
-3 cups peeled and chopped fresh figs -1 cup grapes -1/2 cup dried dates -1 cup water -3/4 cup honey -1/4 teaspoon salt -2 tablespoons lemon peel -2 tablespoons flour -2 tablespoons water -2 Tablespoons lemon juice -1 cup walnuts
-1 cup butter -3/4 sugar(would have used brown sugar but don't have it much here) -2 cups sifted flour -1/2 teaspoon salt - 3 cups oatmeal
Combine the figs, grapes, dates, honey, water, salt and lemon peel. Heat and simmer for 1- 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally until it looks like a thick jam. Then thicken more with the 2 tablespoons water and flour, mixed then added into the fig mixture. Cook 5 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and walnuts.
Preheat oven to 350° F or 175° C. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.(the original recipe had called for shortening and brown sugar?) Combine flour, salt and oatmeal; stir into creamed mixture. Divide and press half of the oatmeal mixture into bottom of well greased 9x13 inch pan. Spread fig mixture. Sprinkle remaining oatmeal on top. press lightly together.
The taste of this recipe is really good. It was a little crumbly and needed to be eaten with a fork. That crumbliness could have come from the slightly strange oatmeal my husband found me? Or because my pan was slightly smaller than the called for and the crusts became thicker?
I sort of had envisioned eating these with my hands; Aunt Polly isn't it you who makes amazing date bars? I need to the recipe...or Auntie Janie you have those crazy sweet apricot bars too? recipes ladies:)?
Vanilla ice cream or even really good thick Turkish yogurt would be a nice compliment. All my relatives here ate it with tea, of course.
This is what my child was doing as her mother was cooking and taking photos instead of playing with her...
She gave herself a tattoo with a sharpie, a permanent marker her mother so carelessly left out. Whoops. All I could do was laugh, take a picture and notice she did a pretty good job really. I tried to seem mad but I just couldn't...
My mother-in-law scrubbed her down the minute she saw her like that and says she was going to get ink poisoning...I don't think so...Sharpies are non-toxic...
My baby liked, or at least like everything, she liked to explore it:)
Unfortunately blurry but tooooo cute none the less!
Also a Turkish band I love...Pinhani!