Monday, September 16, 2013

Fruit of the Month: Figs

It's that fig time again

I wrote about figs last year but it is fitting to record this year's harvest of the most abundant, low-maintenance, stress-free gift of the gods we have at Le Ripe.

I predict I shall be bottling kilos of fig puree this season, but our guests will also be able to benefit from the bounty of our several trees.

To think that we did not have to plant, cage, prune, feed or spray these trees. Our only task is to harvest and eat.

Have just reread D.H. Lawrence's poem about figs - in its entirety for the first time. I never found the poem and its analogy between women and the fruit particularly brilliant or appealing, but it does say some interesting things about figs: for example, fig sap used to be the curdling ingredient in ricotta making. 

I looked up the recipe, and here is one, from Australia - via Sicilian ancestors would be my guess. I have still to try it out, but, it appears: have fig-tree; have natural ricotta!

(p.s later: It works! I only used one litre of milk and it has made about 150g ricotta...I cut the twig almost through in several places, stirred the hot milk for 30 seconds and ecco! fresh ricotta.)

Le Ripe's first fig sap-curdled ricotta
People here still dry out figs at home: split open the figs, leave in the end of summer sun until dry but still juicy. Add an almond or a leaf of bay or some seeds of wild fennel and close up again for winter treats. 

these figs are almost there...


  1. What a generously abundant and carefree harvest of the fig trees.Who would have thought that the sap was once used in the making of ricotta. Those country people were so respourceful.

  2. Even if you're not over-fond of figs (like me), you must admire the devotion to them displayed in this post, and the super photography.


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