One of my absolute favourite thing is Maggie Beer’s Fig Paste. Served with a wedge of soft cheese it’s nothing short of amazing. And as far as I am concerned no cheese platter is complete without it. Unfortunately my fiance doesn’t like fig paste, and being a man of simple pleasures he simply enjoys cheese as is. I guess that’s a lucky thing though because it means more fig paste for me!
Recently I wondered about making my own fig paste. I thought surely it can’t be that hard, and well, it’s not. In fact it’s quite easy and all you need is a little time and you will be rewarded with a delicious abundance of fig paste to enjoy, or even share with your friends.
The important thing with this recipe is to use jam setting sugar. This enables the paste to set properly and have the same consistency of Maggie Beer’s famous pastes. Simply cook the figs and sugar until nice and thick, which is around 3 hours. That doesn’t mean you need to stand over the stove for 3 hours though, an occasional stir is all that is needed.
Serve the paste as part of a cheese platter as it goes wonderfully with soft and hard cheeses.
So tell me, what are your essentials for a good cheese platter?
- 12 just-ripe figs, pureed
- 500g (2¼ cups) jam setting sugar or 2 cups caster sugar and 4¼ tbs powdered pectin
- Combine the figs puree and sugar in a large saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 3 hours, or until the paste is very thick.
- Grease the base and sides of 6 ramekins and divide the paste evenly among the ramekins. Smooth the surface and loosely cover with baking paper and leave to set overnight.
- Remove from the ramekins and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.