Figs, glorious figs. I see them ripening around the neighbourhood, including a rogue tree pushing its way towards the light between our carport and the neighbour’s garage. And ripe for the picking.
Fig & Ginger Preserve
- 800 g ripe figs
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 80 g crystallised ginger, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup boiling water
Trim the figs and cut into bite-sized wedges. Layer into a dish with a sprinkling of sugar and chopped ginger after each addition. Melt the honey and ground ginger together in a small saucepan, then drizzle this over the figs.
Cover the dish and place in the fridge overnight. The fig pieces will soften with the sugar and honey to produce a thick syrup in the bottom of the dish.
Wash and sterilise two 500g jars. To do this, boil jars and lids for 10 minutes in a pot of water. Carefully remove with tongs and air dry on a cake rack.
While the jars are sterilising, pour the syrup from the figs into a saucepan. Add the extra water and bring to a boil. Carefully add the figs and ginger. Bring back to a gentle boil for three minutes to soften and poach the fig pieces. Remove from the heat and immediately ladle the hot figs and syrup into the hot jars – I used a chopstick to nudge the fig pieces into the gaps.
Secure the lids firmly and set aside to cool on a wooden board. Once cold, check the lids have inverted, creating a vacuum seal. Store in a cool dark place and use within six months. Once open, keep in the fridge and consume within one month.
Cornmeal & Buttermilk Waffles
- 1 cup white flour or gluten-free flour mix
- 1/3 cup wholemeal flour or buckwheat flour for gluten-free
- 1/3 cup cornmeal* or extra white flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk or 2/3 cup milk + 1/3 cup yoghurt
- 2 eggs
- 40 g melted butter
- Greek yoghurt to serve
*Cornmeal is a fine-ground corn-based flour, not to be confused with cornflour, which is extra fine, or polenta that is coarsely ground. It is available from supermarkets and can be used to coat potato and fish cakes, and part of the flour component of cornbread.
Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk and eggs and whisk together. Pour in the melted butter and fold together. Check the consistency, it should pour off a spoon easily, if not add an extra splash of milk. At this stage, if time allows, you can set aside the waffle mix for 30 minutes for the flours to hydrate and swell (ie, softer interior).
Heat a waffle maker on medium high. Once hot, spoon three tablespoons of batter into the maker and secure the lid. Cook for two minutes until golden on both sides. Serve immediately with fig and ginger preserve and thick greek yoghurt.
Tip: Waffles are best eaten straight from the waffle maker as they will soften as they sit around. If you have an electric waffle maker, set it up on the breakfast table so you can sit and cook while enjoying breakfast. Put the cooked waffles on to a cooling rack for the next person ready for another to help themselves.