Monday, February 9, 2009

the marriage of the strawberry and the fig...

Early last week, a California friend sent me several pounds of bright red fragrant fresh organic Strawberries.
I had sliced up many for my morning cereal or yogurt during the week.
But there were still so many pounds remaining…

I made a dozen jars of strawberry preserves for gifts and for my use.
I froze several pounds.
I dehydrated many more pounds and turned some into “strawberry powder” in the same way I made “tomato powder” in the autumn.
(For directions, please see my blog post on tomato powder).

I wanted to find a way to extend the fresh life of these gorgeous berries in a way that they would be available for me to use each day.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C, manganese and dietary fiber.
There also have a high rate of antioxidant power.

This morning, I sliced a few ripe strawberries to top my toasted bread that I first smeared with a bit of my favorite Orange-Fig Preserves from Croatia. This was such a surprisingly delicious combination, I thought about how I could use this preserve-fresh strawberry marriage to extend the life of the remaining fresh strawberries.

I experimented a little and came upon this simple method.

the marriage of the strawberry and the fig


1 lb fresh Strawberries cleaned and sliced

¼ cup Dalmatia Brand Orange-Fig Preserves

¼ cup Confiture Figure (French Fig Preserves)
(For the above, you can substitute ½ cup of any good quality
Fig Preserves with ½ teaspoon of fresh Orange zest)

½ Teaspoon fresh Lemon Juice


Rinse the berries and pat dry immediately.

Remove stems and leaves and cut in ½” slices.

Sprinkle with a small but of lemon juice over the cut berries.

Put the Fig Preserves (and the Orange Zest if using Fig Preserves without oranges) in a microwave-proof bowl.

Microwave the preserves for 20 seconds, stir and repeat.

Then zap and stir at 20-second intervals until the preserves just barely bubbles a bit on the edges.

Carefully remove from the microwave and stir the melted preserves for 1or 2 minutes to cool.
(You don’t want to cook the berries…!)

Add the sliced berries a handful at a time and stir to coat.

When cool, store in a airtight container in the chill chest.
They will last at least a week. (Mine have retained a lovely fresh texture for 5 days so far.)

This mixture retains the fresh mouth feel of the strawberry, the hint of acidity from the orange bring a brightness, the fig preserves add a lovely crunchy mouth-feel and the finish has an undercurrent of toasted caramel.
Figs and strawberries are the perfect pair…a marriage made in culinary heaven.

This concoction is wonderful on cereal, in yogurt, on toast or waffles or pancakes. It adds a new dimension when served with cheese (I especially enjoyed it with a slice of the Normandie Camembert that I had in hand).
It is also lovely drizzled over Vanilla ice cream, elevating a simple everyday dessert to the level of a special occasion dessert.

When you have strawberries in season in your neck of the woods.
I hope you will think about trying this method of extending the freshness of your treasure trove of strawberries.


Anonymous said...

That sounds delicious. What a good idea. You are so creative!

jeanette, misttress of longears said...

Boy do you have frineds in high places! As for your marriage, I feel sure they will live happily ever after!

A Brush with Color said...

I've never tried figs/strawberries together--this sounds great, Terrie! I'll have to try this!

Mise En Place said...

This sounds like a match made in Heaven :)
I want to try the combination now!

Anonymous said...

Strawberries and figs sound like a excellent combo! Thanks so much for your nice comments on my site & keep in touch!

chez aurora said...

Oh, Terrie, that does sound delightful...and your photos are mouthwateringly beautiful as usual.

Thanks for sharing this recipe ... I can still remember the first California strawberry that I've ever tasted ... sweet as candy ... there's nothing like're a lucky lady!

I will definitely keep this in mind when strawberry season comes around ... I've just recently noticed that my supermarket stocks the Bonne Maman Fig Preserves that I slathered my morning croissants with on my last visit to Paris :)


Peter said...

Not only your recipes seem so attractive, but your photos really put me in appetite !

Culinary Cory said...

Your strawberries look wonderful. I can't wait until the come in season shortly.

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Merci mille fois for all these great sorry that my response was so delayed as my internet was down for 2 days...


You are all so generous and kind, and I appreciate you all very much.

Phil Lowe said...

What delicious looking fruits. I wish I could share them with you Terrie. Yummy!