It is prime season for figs. The harvesting season for fresh figs is mid-June to mid-October. Use them within 2-3 days of purchase. Select figs that are clean and dry, with smooth, unbroken skin. The fruit should be soft and yielding to the touch, but not mushy. Use your nose. Smell the fruit. If it smells slightly sour, it has already begun to ferment. When figs get beyond their prime, they begin to collapse inward and lose their round shape.
It’s important to keep fresh figs cold to slow deterioration. Use them immediately or store in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your refrigerator for up to two days. Figs can be frozen whole, sliced or peeled and stored in a sealed container of plastic freezer bag for up to 12 months.
Fig and Walnut Cookies
Makes 3 dozen
3 cups finely ground toasted walnuts
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped, fresh, peeled figs
Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat butter and maple syrup until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Stir in flour. Add walnuts and figs, stir to incorporate. Dough will be soft, almost like mousse.
Using a small scoop place 1 1/2 inch balls on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets.