Cooking from a Portuguese perspective

Figs in Syrup/Figos em Calda

with 4 comments

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.


Written by Pedro Rebelo

January 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

4 Responses

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  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!

    Ondina Maria

    January 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm

  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)


    January 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

  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).


    February 11, 2014 at 1:01 pm

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