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The Cook and the Fig

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Apple-Fig Crumble

(Family Features) - Figs, those California fruits that love sunny climates, are turning up on more and more restaurant menus and family dinner tables. We're fig-uring out that these sweet and luscious fruits bring depth and variety to many different dishes.

Brought to California by Franciscan missionaries, figs taste great and are most versatile in their dried state. Look for deep purple Mission and golden, nutty-flavored Calimyrna varieties. Take them along with you for a sweet, fiber-filled portable snack. The sunny flavor of dried figs also stars in Italian biscotti cookies, coffee cakes and muffins, stuffing for the holiday bird or a pork loin, rice dishes, salads, appetizers-especially with Gorgonzola cheese, and the "figgy pudding" of English lore. Dried figs combine well with other fruits like apples and pears in comforting, cold weather desserts like Apple-Fig Crumble.

But figs are more than just great tasting.  They're also good for you. Just five figs give you 5 grams of dietary fiber-that's a significant contribution toward the recommended daily total of 25 to 30 grams. Along with fiber, figs contain a wealth of essential nutrients including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and copper. Naturally fat free, cholesterol free, trans fat free, and sodium free, dried California figs are becoming a must-have pantry staple.

For more information and recipes featuring dried California figs, visit the Valley Fig Growers Web site at www.valleyfig.com.

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Apple-Fig Crumble

Dried figs combine well with other fruits like apples and pears in comforting, cold weather desserts like Apple-Fig Crumble.

  • 8 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs, quartered and stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons Marsala or water
  • 3 large tart, crisp apples, peeled, cored, cut into thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place figs and Marsala in a microwave-safe bowl.
    2. Cover with plastic wrap and Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.
    3. Stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Set aside. Place apples in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with flour and cinnamon, toss to coat.
    4. Heat honey and butter until melted; drizzle over apples. Arrange figs over apples.
    5. For topping, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, salt in a medium bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples and figs.
    6. Bake 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Serve warm.
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Makes 6- 8 servings

SOURCE: Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® Figs
Sun-Maid® Figs

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