Monday, November 5, 2012

National Fig Week? Homemade Fig Newtons!

According to Sacramento's main promoter of supermarket fruits and vegetables, Michael Marks, this week is National Fig Week. It seems a bit late in the fig season to be celebrating this under-utilized fruit, but what the heck...anytime is a good time to enjoy figs, fresh or dried! 

Fig images courtesy Dave Wilson Nursery

Figs are part of a heart-healthy diet. 3 to 5 dried or fresh figs provides 3.5 grams insoluble fiber and 1.5 grams water-soluble fiber. Diets rich in soluble and insoluble fibers, such as the fiber found in figs, help maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels.

 The fruit from the most popular home fig tree varieties are usually harvested around here in September and October. Still, some of you may have a few figs lurking on your backyard trees.

I enjoy fresh figs as part of a fruit salad. For those of you who want the occasional sweeter treat, eaten in moderation, you may enjoy this recipe for:

Homemade Fig Newtons

For the Filling:
1 lb. dried figs or 2 lbs. fresh figs
1 cup sugar
1/2 or 1 cup water (1 cup for dried figs; 1/2 cup for fresh)

Dice figs, soak in water 1 hour.
Add 1 cup sugar & cook on medium heat until it has a thin jam consistency.

For the Pastry:
1/2 cup butter, room temp.
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat 1 cup sugar, butter, egg, milk & vanilla until well blended.

Then add these to the pastry mix:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 cup flour

Mix well and refrigerate for 1 hour.


Place 1/2 of the pastry on well floured dough cloth; knead about 6 times.
Roll out pastry to 1/4" thick. 
Line the inside of the 13 x 9" glass dish with the rolled pastry; cover that with fig filling.
Roll out remaining pastry, and cover the fig filling in the glass dish. Cut off any excess pastry dough.

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Let cool and cut into squares.


  1. The USDA reports that the fig harvest is continuing this week in California's commercial fig orchards! Get them at your local farmer's market, too.

  2. Hi You,
    My Stockton Farmers Market had a pretty good harvest earlier--all gone now.
    Really Fred--2 cups of sugar, when figs are so sweet alone?????
    trader joe's has a good Fig Butter, made with misssion figs.
    Enjoy your weekly show---learn something too!!!

  3. I've been wanting to try to make these...thanks for sharing the recipe! I have a bunch of dried figs in my freezer.