Fall is here and figs are all over the markets. Here is Southern California, fig trees are everywhere, so having friends and neighbors giving out bags of figs is normal. A friend of my mother brought us a bag of beautiful Mission figs, and I knew I was going to abscond with those figs! Sorry Mom, I had cooking to do!
I had recently bought a jar of Hibiscus Powder, which I had never seen before. I am used to seeing dried hibiscus flowers in my supermarket, which are used for making the Mexican drink Jamaica. I have even used hibiscus flowers in syrup in a cocktail. But hibiscus powder was a new food find, and I love to experiment in the kitchen!
Hibiscus has a tart flavor, and ripe figs are sticky and sweet. I wanted a balance of tart and sweet in my fig compote, with notes of spice in the background. Figs are so much more than cookie filling (although I do love my Fig Newtons) and even a simple compote can be jazzed up a little.
A compote is fresh or dried fruit that has been slowly cooked in a sugar syrup, just to the point of tenderness. Compotes can be served over ice cream, pound or angel food cake, scones or even roasted meats. They are versatile and really simple to make.
If you want to try an incredible savory dish with figs, make these Fig and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops.
- 15 fresh Mission figs
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup turbinado or raw sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon hibiscus powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a saucepan over high heat, stir together the water, sugar, hibiscus powder and allspice until the sugar is dissolved.Add the figs and stir to coat them in the liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil, them lower to a simmer. Cook the compote 20 – 25 minutes, until the figs are tender and the liquid has become syrupy.Remove the compote from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Let the compote cool, then store in the refrigerator.
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 30 mins Yield: 3 cups