QUICK NOTE ABOUT FIGS

Fresh figs have an incredible flavor, but because they last only about a week after harvest, almost 90% of the world's fig crop is sold as dried fruit. The nutritional value of dried figs is quite impressive. They have the highest fiber and mineral content of all common fruits, nuts or vegetables. They also have as much as 1,000 times more calcium than other common fruits and by weight they actually have more calcium than skim milk.

Figs are 80% higher in potassium than bananas, and are extremely easy to digest. They also have more iron than any other of the common fruits and are extremely high in magnesium. All of this for about 20 to 40 calories per fig. No wonder they are often referred to as "nature's most nearly perfect fruit."
FIG PRESERVES

5 Pounds peeled figs
5 Pounds sugar
1 Lemon, sliced
Peel and quarter figs, add sugar and sliced lemon. Let stand two or three hours to draw juice, stir now and then to help dissolve sugar. When sugar has softened, start cooking. Let come to a rolling boil. Boil 25-30 minutes, stirring constantly so liquid does not stick to bottom of pot. After foam disappears and juice has thickened a little, ladle into hot jars and seal.

FIG PUDDING

1/4 Cup butter
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Egg
1 1/2 Cups sifted flour
2 Cups chopped dried figs
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla
Cream the butter, add the sugar and the well-beaten egg. Take out about 2 tablespoons of the flour and mix with the figs. Sift together the remaining flour and the baking powder and salt and add alternately with the milk to the butter and egg mixture. Stir in the flour-coated figs and add the vanilla. Bake in a greased baking dish for about one hour in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.). Serve hot with lemon sauce or hard sauce to which a little lemon juice has been added.

FIG PRESERVE CAKE

1 Cup Crisco, creamed
2 Cups sugar
4 Eggs, beaten
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup buttermilk
3 Cups flour
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon cloves
1 Cup fig preserves
Sift dry ingredients. Blend in other ingredients. Beat thoroughly. Bake in tube pan in 325 degrees F. oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
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