Figs. A few figs in a bowl on an old wooden background

I bought some figs over the weekend, a fruit I’ve never really had much experience using but I’ve always wanted to experiment with. So, of course I turned to Pinterest for some recipe inspiration.

We’ve all heard of figgy pudding in a favorite Christmas carol, but with this fruit being in season during the late summer, it is clearly perfectly ripe right now. Time to try some new recipes.

Throughout my search, it’s become clear that figs go perfectly with soft cheeses, honey, ham and all sorts of varying savory combinations. Figs also are great in cakes, scones and other sweet treats, too. Here are some great recipes for fig-themed appetizers, entrees and desserts. For even more ideas, visit our Money-Saving Recipes board on Pinterest.

Appetizers

Figs are the perfect size for bite-sized appetizers and make an elegant opening course, or even side dish, for any dinner. Simply slicing figs and topping them with dollops of ricotta or goat cheese and a drizzle of honey is a beautiful way to present this fresh fruit. Bacon, ham and prosciutto add a perfect layer of saltiness to bring all the flavors together.

Try this Fig, Marscapone and Goat Cheese Tart. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and a dusting of flour. Place on 1 thawed puff pastry sheet and poke with a fork. Gently spread pastry with 4 ounces of marscapone cheese. Lay 1/2 pound of figs cut into 1/4-inch slices. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool for 5 minutes and top with drizzled honey, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme and 2 teaspoons salt.

Main dishes

Figs add a deliciously sweet, tangy element to an entree. Figs are great when paired with any cured meats like bacon, prosciutto and thinly sliced ham. You know what is a great way to combine those delicious flavors of figs and salty meats? Add some cheese and top a beautiful pizza crust or even toss everything into a beautiful pasta with warm ricotta cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Try this Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken. After cooking 2 chicken breasts in 1 teaspoon of olive oil, remove the chicken and, over low heat, add 1/2 clove minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon fresh time or rosemary and 1 teaspoon dry white wine, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Add a splash of chicken broth. Cook for 2 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in 2 teaspoons fig preserves and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Simmer until thick. Pour atop the chicken.

Desserts

With fresh fruit all coming into season right now, it’s a great time to try some new cobblers, crisps, cakes, pies and more desserts. Like peaches, pears and plums, figs are a perfect fruit centerpiece for a decadent dessert. Pair fig with cardamom to create deliciously flaky scones. Thinking of a simple dessert? Top fresh vanilla Greek yogurt with sliced figs and honey for a light dessert.

Make some of this Fig Custard Cake. Whisk 1 cup flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In another bowl, whisk 2 large eggs, 1 large egg yolk, 1 1/4 cups sugar. Add 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup sour cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add dry ingredients and fold until smooth. Pour into 8-inch buttered and floured springform pan. Arrange 8 sliced figs on top and bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.

— Jennifer Durrant

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