A traditional Cape Malay recipe for Groenvy Heelkonfyt (Green Fig Preserve) by the late Faldela Williams, author of The Cape Malay Cookbook. And a list of food that are delicious with it.
- 2 kg green figs (from the first crop before the end of October – otherwise it is too ripe and become bitter when preserved)
- 2.5 kg sugar
- 2.5 litre water
- 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) lemon juice
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground dried ginger
For the lime solution:
- 5 litres water
- 25 ml (5 teaspoons) slaked lime (calcium hydroxide, which can be found at pharmacies)
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda
- Remove skins from the figs with a fine grater or a serrated knife and cut a cross in stem end of each.
- Make the lime solution and soak figs in it overnight.
- The next day, boil the figs in 3 litres of water for about 20 minutes until they are tender and drain.
- Bring 2.5 litre water and the sugar, lemon juice and ginger to the boil.
- Add the figs one by one and boil rapidly until the figs are soft enough to break open but still crisp, and the syrup is thick. This will take 45 to 60 minutes.
- Bottle in hot sterilised jars, and fill the bottles to the brim with the syrup.
How do you eat Green Fig Preserve?
- Cheese (duh!) – Gruyer, Oak Smoked, Goats Milk, Raclette, Havarti, Overberg, Gouda, Camembert…al cheese. Serve with salad and bread for a light supper or snack.
- Fold into thick Greek yoghurt (with or without a sprinkling of nuts.
- Mix into a vinaigrette.
- Saute with onion, garlic and balsamic vinegar to create a basting for a pork roast.
- Use it in a layered cake instead of jam.
- Mix with your favourite soft cheese and thyme and use to stuff chicken breasts.
- For Banana Bread with a twist… substitute up to half the bananas with Fig Preserve!
- Make mini puff pastries with green fig preserve, cheese and even some bacon/chicken.
- Heat it slightly and drizzle over fruit salad and ice cream.