Figs in Syrup/Figos em Calda

Portuguese figs are a real treat in the summer when you can pick them off the tree alongside any country path… Different varieties excel in either taste, juiciness or sweetness. Figs are common all across Portugal and the Algarve region is particularly known for producing the best. This noble fruit (they say Louis XIV kept 700 fig trees in Versailles to supply the royal table) is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of salads to add sweetness and looks! The dried variety used for this recipe is easily obtained in most supermarkets but the quality of the figs is crucial for this to work. Here, a basic flavoured syrup is added to dried figs, making them rich with moisture and producing an excellent fig flavoured syrup. The combination of lemon peel and cinnamon is widely used in Portuguese deserts and produces a delicately spiced flavour. Figs in syrup are ideal as a topping for a special fruit salad or ice-cream, as a dessert garnish or just on their own!

Figs in Syrup
Figs in Syrup

2 cups of dried figs
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of water
1 lemon peel
1 cinnamon stick

1. Make the syrup by simmering the water, sugar, lemon peel and cinnamon stick until it reduces by half. You should obtain a slightly thick consistency.

2.  Rinse the dried figs in hot water and add them to the syrup. Leave at least for one day before trying so that the flavours can mix. This will keep for a long time in sterilised jars.

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Pedro Rebelo

Pedro is a composer, sound artist and performer. In 2002, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh where he conducted research in both music and architecture. Pedro has recently led participatory projects involving communities in Belfast, favelas in Maré, Rio de Janeiro, travelling communities in Portugal and a slum town in Mozambique. This work has resulted in sound art exhibitions at venues such as the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, Centro Cultural Português Maputo, Espaço Ecco in Brasilia and Parque Lage and Museu da Maré in Rio, Museu Nacional Grão Vasco and MAC Nitéroi. His music has been presented in venues such as the Melbourne Recital Hall, National Concert Hall Dublin, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Ars Electronica, Casa da Música, and in events such as Weimarer Frühjahrstage fur zeitgenössische Musik, Wien Modern Festival, Cynetart and Música Viva. His work as a pianist and improvisor has been released by Creative Source Recordings and he has collaborated with musicians such as Chris Brown, Mark Applebaum, Carlos Zingaro, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros as well as artists such as Suzanne Lacy. His writings reflect his approach to design and creative practice in a wider understanding of contemporary culture and emerging technologies. Pedro has been Visiting Professor at Stanford University (2007), senior visiting professor at UFRJ, Brazil (2014) and Collaborating Researcher at INEM-md Universidade Nova, Lisboa (2016). He has been Music Chair for international conferences such as ICMC 2008, SMC 2009, ISMIR 2012 and has been invited keynote speaker at ANPPOM 2017, ISEA 2017, CCMMR 2016 and EMS 2013. At Queen's University Belfast, he has held posts as Director of Education, Director of Research and Head of School. In 2012 he was appointed Professor of Sonic Arts at Queen's and awarded the Northern Bank's "Building Tomorrow's Belfast" prize. He has recently been awarded two major grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council including the interdisciplinary project “Sounding Conflict”, investigating relationships between sound, music and conflict situations. Ongoing research interests include immersive sound design and augmented listening experiences. Pedro has been appointed Director of the Sonic Arts Research Centre in 2021.

4 thoughts on “Figs in Syrup/Figos em Calda”

  1. Love figs and love such a simple and easy recipe. Will definitely try it, as we have loads of dried figs at home – leftovers from the Holidays 🙂

    Do you reckon we could use these figs in syrup to make yoghurts out of them? I’m willing to give it a try!

  2. Uhmm, they looks delicious, I will use the dried ones from Christmas. Although I am eagerly waiting for my figs to ripen on the tree, should be another couple of weeks, there are hundreds this year!! (I live in Perth, Australia)

  3. Besides Algarve, the other place in Portugal famous for producing exceptional figs (specially the pingo-de-mel/honeydrew ones) is Torres Novas, in the Ribatejo region. Actually, there is avaiable in many “gourmet shops” in Portugal, and also on Lisbon´s airport free shop area, an extremely good brand of figs in syrup, all natural/ biologic, called “Casa das Rendufas”, that comes from Torres Novas. Try it if you can. It is really, really good (and I´m not a fig fan, with this one exception).

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