What else would I do with a family figgy jam recipe except make fig newtons!
My very first memory of fig newtons was of the one in the yellow package that tasted real sweet and light. And came on your grocery stores shelves. One day my mom took me to a health store in the mall to get her vitamins. Normally a kid would hate going to such a shop. But I loved this shop because as well as vitamins, they carried big bins of giant, dense, bran fig newtons. And in three flavors! Apple , raspberry and plain.
Although I have no idea how to make these wonderful newtons from my childhood, but I have another favorite. My recipe for buttery newtons make a light and slightly crisped newton, that will make anybody a fig lover.
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
31/2 cups All-purpose flour or more for rolling
1 1/4 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 pint Fig jam (previous post)
Cream butter and sugar well. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat after each addition. Add milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and blend. In the first cup of flour, add baking powder and salt. Continue adding flour until the mixture is the proper consistency for rolling dough on floured board.
To make fig newtons, divide dough into 2 parts. Roll between 2 pieces of waxed paper, about 8 inches square. Remove top layer of waxed paper, Spoon jam on half. Fold dough on center line. Cut in squares.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until light tan. Cool on rack. Store in tight containers.
For the first 12 years of my life I lived across the street from a huge fig tree. I remember picking them up off the ground and then throwing them at my playmate. These bright green pods with lots of little seeds were collected and preserved every year by my love grandma Angie. Her parents built a giant Victorian house right off of Union Ave (now it’s MLK Blvd) during the late 1890’s. This house had a giant cellar and a giant willow who’s branches we used to swing from for hours. After the death of Angie and her sister Barbara, eat time I bit into a fig it took me right back to their home.
Last year I was biting into a fig newton and I instantly knew the next recipe I wanted to bake. Too bad figs were out of season at the time, but not for too long. I know that there is a cool website for the Portland area where people list fruit trees and other veggies that are on Public and private property. You are able to go to these sites and respectfully collect fresh produce that would go to waste. I will blog about this site later:) I found lots of fig trees, but decided to hit up the Farmers market instead.
The figs that I found at the farmers market were bright shades of green and most of them were ripe or soon to be. I paid $2.50 for 7 large sized figs. Too fill up a jar you will need 12-16 of these, so it can be quite spendy. If I was not planning on putting my jam in a small batch of newtons, I would have found a tree:)
My jam turned out great. It has an earthier and better flavor then the over sugared store bought jam. I also decided to leave it a bit chunky and not cook it down to a thick dark brown jam. I loved the fresh flavors, texture and colors that it gave the jam!
1 cup Mashed figs
3/4 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Water
Combine mashed figs, sugar and water.
You can use your stove top on a low to medium heat, stirring often. Or use a crock pot. Cook until desired thickness.
Cool and use as filling ore spread on some crackers with fresh goat cheese. Yum.
*If you plan on canning this jam use safe preservation methods. Or you can simply make this freezer jam.
Figs growing on tree