Vanilla Fig Preserves

Don’t you think seven AM on a Sunday is way too early to be awake?  Let alone to be cooking?  My boys’ four-year-old cousin had spent the night, and at six-thirty AM she whispered in my ear, “Um, Valentina, can we make the pancakes now?” (Actually, that was her second question.  First she wanted to know if I could paint her nails.)

She’s quite cute and charming, so of course, I got right up, and the day began somewhat wildly with Buckwheat Banana Pancakes.

Later the day became peaceful while I made this incredible fig preserves recipe.  The fresh green figs were so beautiful, and the vanilla was so aromatic — I knew it would be lovely.  It was.  And the house smelled wonderful, too boot!

Fig preserves are sweet and delicious — and they become quite sophisticated when infused with the vanilla.   These preserves will make for a lovely, low stress appetizer for your weekend brunch — on a cracker with cheese would be delightful. Or spread them on a piece of toast for breakfast to have with your coffee.  And you can spread the preserves on toast for a snack while you’re working on something else on the kitchen . . . like Lavender Rosemary Grilled Rib-Eye Steak for dinner. (Yum!)

I’m building up to a super yummy, weekend brunch menu this week — these preserves are just the beginning! 

Recipe
Makes 1 cup
Total Prep and Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Active Work Time: 5 minutes

1 pound green (Kadota) or purple (Black Mission) figs
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 vanilla pod

Wash the figs, cut them in half, and place them in a medium-sized saucepan.  Add the water, vanilla extract, balsamic vinegar and sugar.

Then use a paring knife to slice open the vanilla pod horizontally.  With the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla beans into the saucepan and add the emptied pod as well.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook until the mixture becomes very soft and thick, about 35 to 45 minutes.  Removed the vanilla pods and let it cool to room temperature.  Store in an air tight jar or container, where it will keep for a few weeks.

Notes:

Don’t miss out on fig season — it’s happening right now!

Print recipe.

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