Citrus-Stuffed Figs

drawing of cartoon figs photographing each other

This recipe's contributor is my best friend's grandmother, Nonna. Nonna grew up in Calabria, the Southwestern toe of Italy's boot-shaped peninsula. Nonna's mother prepared Citrus-Stuffed Figs (Fichi Ripieni in Italian) often, as she had all the necessary fruit trees on her land and nine children to pick them. She didn't serve them on any particular occasion, but the aroma of warm citrus and caramelized sugar makes me wanna sing, "silver bells, silver bells, soon it will be Christmas day."

fig placed in front of a lime, lemon, and orange

Ingredients

up to 15 dried figs, the fatter and softer, the better
1 orange
1 Meyer lemon
1 lime

to taste:
granulated sugar

Instructions

Serves up to 7

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F / 190 degrees C with the rack in middle position.

Let come to room temperature:
up to 15 dried figs, the fatter and softer, the better

Peel (without digging into the white rind):
1 orange
1 Meyer lemon
1 lime

To minimize the amount of tasteless white rind on your peels, use a sharp vegetable peeler or knife.
Finely chop the peels, and keep them in separate piles. The orange peel pile will be the biggest—discard enough of it so the amount of orange peel matches the amount of lemon peel. Gather the chopped peels in one pile, mince, and mix thoroughly.


ASSEMBLY

Cut off the figs' hard pointy stems. With the stem side pointing up, slice sideways into the widest section of each fig, leaving an uncut hinge for the figs to open and close like talking puppets. Unfold the figs, and cover the bottom halves with a thick layer of the minced citrus. Close all the figs and place in a tight huddle on a tinfoil-lined baking tray. Sprinkle the tops with:
a generous amount of granulated sugar

*Leftover minced citrus makes a great salad topping.


BAKING

Spread out the figs evenly on the tray and bake for 15 minutes or until they're browned on top and very fragrant. Let cool for a couple minutes, then serve.

 
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Marisa
27 days ago

Thank you so much for trying and sharing this recipe, Jack! Nonna will be so happy!

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