Cuccidati Italian Fig Cookies

Filled with California Dried Figs, raisins, dates, almonds, honey or jam, orange or lemon peel, and scented with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, Cuccidati are traditional Italian fig cookies served at Christmas and especially favored by Italian-Americans around the holidays. It is not too farfetched to speculate that Arab influence in Southern Italy could be responsible for their assortment of dried and fresh fruits and alluring spices. The filling of this Italian fig cookie recipe is wrapped in buttery dough, which is much like pasta frolla, a soft and sweet Italian pastry dough. Sometimes the cookies are shaped into fat little logs, but they can also take the shape of an X, or a crescent with filling peeking out of small slits cut into the ends of the cookie before it is baked. You can choose one or make all three!

The cookies take a bit of work but you will find it easier if you break it down. 1) Make and chill the dough 2) make the filling 3) roll and chill the dough 4) shape the filling 5) Wrap the dough around the filling 6) Chill the filled logs 7) Shape the cookies and brush with egg wash 8) Bake the cookies 9) Make the glaze and glaze the cookies. Don’t forget to breathe and enjoy—cookie season is here!

Cuccidati Italian Fig Cookies

Course Dessert

Ingredients

Dough for Italian Fig Cookies

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into thick slices
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling for Italian Fig Cookies

  • 8 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 3 tablespoons Meyer's dark rum or Grand Marnier

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Icing for Italian Fig Cookies

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • Colored sprinkles

Instructions

Make the Dough for the Italian Fig Cookies:

  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt a few times to mix them. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the dough resembles small crumbs. Add the eggs, and pulse until the dough more or less forms a ball. It is a very forgiving dough, so don’t fuss too much.

  2. Tip the dough onto a work surface and knead it two or three times just to bring it together. Line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with a long piece of plastic wrap. Press and flatten the dough into the pan. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until firm. The dough can be refrigerated for up to five days if you want to shape and bake the cookies later. 

Make the Filling for the Italian Fig Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. On a baking sheet, spread the almonds. Bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they smell toasty. Cool briefly.

  2. With scissors, snip the stems off the figs, and snip each fig into 3 or 4 pieces.

  3. In a food processor, combine the figs, raisins, cinnamon, salt, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and orange zest. Pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the almonds, marmalade and rum. Pulse until the mixture holds together but is not ground to a paste—it should have a little texture. 

  4. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cookies. The filling will keep for at least one week.

To Assemble the Dough and Filling

  1. Have on hand 2 parchment lined baking sheets. Divide the dough in half. 

  2. Place a piece of parchment on the work surface and sprinkle it generously with flour. Working with half the dough at a time, roll it into a 12- by 14-inch rectangle. Slide it onto the baking sheet and refrigerate it for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cold. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

  3. While the dough is chilling, shape the filling. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Divide the filling into 8 pieces (about 1/3 cup each) and roll each one into a 14-inch log. (This is easiest to accomplish by rolling about half of each portion at a time and piece the small logs together to form a long log.) The logs should be about 1/2-inch thick. Place on the baking sheet.

  4. Remove one sheet of chilled pastry from the refrigerator. With the dough still on the baking sheet, position it so that the 12-inch edge of the rectangle is parallel to the countertop. With a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 4 long strips that are 3 inches wide. 

  5. Center 1 log of filling on each dough strip. Fold one side of dough over it and roll it so the seam is on the bottom. Return the baking sheet to the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before cutting and shaping.

To Shape and Bake the Italian Fig Cookies:

  1. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. If you have turned off the oven, preheat it now to 350ºF.

  2. For small cookies, cut the logs into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with colored sprinkles and bake, or glaze (see recipe below) with icing and top with sprinkles after baking.

    For X cookies, cut into 2 1/2- to 3-inch pieces. With a paring knife, make a slit on both ends of each piece and open them out slightly to form an X. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with colored sprinkles and bake, or glaze with icing and top with sprinkles after baking.

    For curved cookies, cut into 2 1/2- to 3-inch pieces. With a paring knife, make 3 or 4 1/4-inch cuts on 1 side of each cookie, being careful not to cut all the way through. Curve them into a crescent shape. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with colored sprinkles and bake, or glaze with icing and top with sprinkles after baking.

  3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown. 

Make the Icing for the Italian Fig Cookies

  1. Whisk together 2 egg whites and 2 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar. Pour into a shallow dish. Carefully dip the tops of the cookies in the icing and set them on a rack. Sprinkle with colored sprinkles and leave until set. 

  2. Store between sheets of wax paper in a tin with a tight-fitting lid for up to 1 week.

Recipe and photo by Sally Pasley Vargas

Brown Butter Baked Apple Slices with Figs

Brown Butter Baked Apple Slices with Figs is our new favorite way to finish a meal during the fall. Topped with toasted pecans and lightly sweetened whipped cream, this dessert is unforgettable.

You know how often when it comes to dessert, people self-select into the chocolate camp or the fruit camp? We can’t decide and love both kinds of sweets! But, when the weather dips and we pull out thick sweaters, we want big mugs of tea and cozy desserts. You may create baked apples each fall, but we’ve stumbled on a combination that’s too good not to share. Baked apple slices when tumbled in brown butter and roasted with nutty sweet golden California dried figs becomes the kind of fruit dessert you crave. Served warm, this is comfort food that’s weeknight-easy and even something you can make ahead to reheat later.

Brown Butter Baked Apple Slices with Figs

Course Dessert
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 pound Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice Golden Figs or Sun-Maid Calimyrna Figs, stemmed and sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a mini casserole dish or 8x8 pan with cooking spray.

  2. Brown the butter in a skillet set over medium heat, whisking and keeping a quick eye on the butter to ensure it doesn't burn, and sniffing occasionally until the butter smells nutty and begins to take on a light brown color. Once the butter's browned, stir in the cinnamon and cardamom, toasting the spices for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

  3. Add figs and apples to brown butter mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar and salt. Toss to coat. Tumble the fruit into the prepared dish.

  4. Bake for about 50 minutes or until fork tender, gently turning the fruit with a wooden spoon 2 times during the cooking period to redistribute the fruit. Meanwhile, toast the pecans.

  5. Spoon the baked apple slices and sauce into a small bowl. Dollop whipped cream and scatter on pecans right before serving.

Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld

Find more ideas for baking with dried figs by following us on Pinterest @valleyfig

Fig Chili Made with Leftover Turkey

Figgy chili made with leftover turkey is the kind of thing you'll want to eat with fresh cornbread or tortilla chips crumbled in.

If you enjoyed your Thanksgiving menu there is probably going to be cranberry sauce for several days to come. When it comes to eating up leftovers after Thanksgiving, you could go in for Thanksgiving feast part 2, but we wanted to suggest veering from that course you’ve already traversed and perhaps your tastebuds are ready for a change too, so introducing our chili made with leftover turkey. With Thanksgiving turkey there are a few unknown variables—did you brine your bird? What kinds of seasonings did you use? So, in this recipe, we start with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt when sautéing the onions and carrots. We used around 3 teaspoons total salt, but season to your taste. Also, we add enough chipotle to add complexity to the sauce but if you want it spicier, feel free to add in one more chipotle. This turkey chili walks the line of a thick saucy Texas chili with the California mission figs naturally thickening up the sauce for the best Texas chili recipe with shredded Thanksgiving turkey. The unsweetened chocolate might seem a bit surprising, but it also adds just enough complexity to the sauce. Perhaps you don’t have turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving to use—feel free to brown 2 pounds ground turkey to stir in. Lastly, there’s nothing quite like eating cornbread with chili and this one is no exception.

Figgy Chili made with leftover turkey will warm you up and is the best Texas chili recipe to use after you shred the turkey from Thanksgiving.

Figgy Chili Made with Leftover Turkey

Course Main Course

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 large white onion, diced (2 1/2 cups)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and large-diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken broth, divided
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and diced
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers, rinsed of adobo sauce
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomato puree
  • 1 (28 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large orange or red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 cups shredded turkey (white or dark meat)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Scallions

Instructions

  1. Warm the oil in a stockpot set over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the chili powder and toast for 1 minute. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt, onion and carrots, stirring occasionally until mostly softened, about 9 minutes.  

  2. Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat 1 cup of the chicken broth in a saucepan set over medium heat until steam rises from the top, about 3 minutes. Pour the chicken broth over the chocolate and set aside for 2 minutes. Then whisk the chocolate and broth together until combined. Toss in the mission figs.

  3. Spoon the chipotle peppers, tomato puree, figs, and chocolate broth into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. 

  4. Stir in the pinto beans, bell pepper, and turkey into the stockpot to tumble with the chili-coated onion and carrots. Pour in the pureed fig tomato mixture. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of chicken broth. Season to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and chopped scallions if desired. 

Recipe and photos by Annelies Zijderveld

Continue the Fig Feasting, follow us on Instagram @valleyfig

Year of the Fig Thanksgiving Menu

It’s the Year of the Fig, so, we’ve packed out a Thanksgiving menu with recipes to cook with dried figs!

VFG Year of the Fig Thanksgiving Menu

If you’re a procrastinator (hey, we’re not judging!), you’ll especially like the fig feast we’ve got planned as it includes a shopping list you can print out and take to the store. Each of the Thanksgiving recipes links is included in the e-book too from homemade cranberry sauce to dessert to a dressing or stuffing with salty pancetta or turkey wings.

Year of the Fig Thanksgiving Menu + Shopping List: Click here for the Year of the Fig Thanksgiving Menu + Shopping List

As you get ready for turkey day, We’re grateful for you!

– Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Valley Fig Growers

Follow us for more ideas for Thanksgiving (and the day after!) on Instagram @valleyfig

 

 

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Figs

Fresh orange and chewy California dried figs make homemade cranberry sauce the kind of thing you would serve outside of Thanksgiving as well as at the big feast!

Thanksgiving recipes typically center around the turkey, but the cranberries play an equally important role. You might have grown up using canned cranberries, but it’s a cinch to make homemade cranberry sauce! Sliced oranges and California Figs add sweetness and texture for a twist on the classic sauce. We also like to add a bit of booze like port (or even brandy), but if you prefer to keep it alcohol-free, swapping in orange juice pairs up nicely too. Recipes using fresh cranberries start with the Thanksgiving sauce, but we have a hunch once you try the tart sweet combo of cranberries and California Figs, you’ll be jonesing to add them to scones and muffins as well. Then again, this cranberry sauce with dried figs would be equally good on a cheese plate or slathered onto grilled cheese.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Figs

Course Side Dish
Servings 11 servings (2 3/4 cups)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped (1/3-inch) Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs. stems removed
  • 1 1/2 cups ruby Port, brandy or orange juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange sections, drained and cut into bite-size pieces

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients except orange sections in large saucepan. Bring to a full boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until berries burst. (Sauce thickens when chilled.) Cool. Transfer to bowl, cover and chill. Stir in orange sections. Sauce can be prepared up to 1 week ahead. Stir in oranges the day sauce will be served.

Find other ideas for your Thanksgiving table by following us on Instagram @valleyfig

Honey Dried Fig Baked Ricotta

When you need a last minute appetizer, look past the cheese wheel and make a baked ricotta dip with California dried figs.

When the holidays (and holiday parties) are in sight, it’s a good idea to have an appetizer ace up your sleeve and this ricotta bake recipe is it. You could turn to cheese plates, but warm appetizers are a way to make family and friends cozy. This creamy spoonable cheese usually is associated with lasagna or even as a topping for toast, but that changes now. Sweet California Figs get stirred into the dip and tile the top too. Cover and chill leftovers in the refrigerator and then reheat it in a preheated oven set to 375°F to warm for 5-7 minutes. Try this dip with crackers or crostini.

Dip into honey dried fig baked ricotta with tortilla chips, crostini, or crackers.

Honey Dried Fig Baked Ricotta

Course Appetizer

Ingredients

Baked Ricotta

  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice Mission Figlets or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs, chopped into very small pieces
  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh-cracked black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Garnishes

  • 2 tablespoons Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice California Mission Figlets, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon crushed raw pistachios
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh chives, minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°degrees. Spray a 1-quart baking dish well with cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, lemon zest and juice, honey, chives, garlic, salt, and a generous amount of black pepper. Mix well to fully combine. (NOTE: figs can slightly discolor the ricotta as it bakes, so I do not combine them into the mixture.)

  3. Work in layers to prepare the dish. Place 1/4 of the ricotta mixture into the baking dish, and then 1/3 of the figs. Repeat. The top layer should be ricotta mixture.

  4. Drizzle dip with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until hot. Remove from oven. Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, and garnish with sliced figs, crushed pistachio, and remaining chives. If desired, add a little more fresh-cracked black pepper.

  5. Serve with crackers or bread. Best served immediately while hot, but also delicious at room temperature.

Recipe and photos by Karyl Henry

Find other Thanksgiving fig appetizers by following us on Instagram @valleyfig

How to Set Up a Cheese Board

It’s American Cheese Month and you don’t have to tell us twice to pull out a platter. It’s no surprise that cheeseboards have been growing in popularity throughout the past few years. We’ve seen some pretty exquisite cheese platters, but if you’ve never made one before, you might be wondering how to set up a cheese board. Here are our top five tips to building a cheese platter everyone will devour.

Here's How to set up a cheese board. Five tips to get you partying quick.

1.) Pick out at least 3 or 4 different styles of cheese.

The name of the game here is variety–both in the styles of cheese (a sharp cheddar versus mild goat cheese) and in their textures too (one you slice, the other kind of crumbles). If you take this approach to concocting your cheese platter, you’re on your way to creating an epic appetizer. A few of our favorite cheeses to pair with California Figs include

2.) Load the cheese platter with fresh fruits.

This is where crafting the perfect cheese plate gets particularly fun. Look for what fruits are in season and slice up juicy pears or crispy apples in autumn. When winter comes, slice up Fuyu persimmons and break open pomegranates, letting their jewel-toned seeds sparkle with juice. Perhaps supreme a few oranges too. Spring for cherries and strawberries. Summer on with juicy stone fruits of nectarines, peaches and all the berries. Heck, throw on fresh figs when they’re available in summer and early autumn too.

3.) Don’t forget the dried figs.

Dried fruits like apricots or cranberries can add a chewy element for another texture on a cheese board. But, almost every cheese board worth its muster includes figs and this is where our California dried figs particularly shine. You can keep them whole to eat in one bite. Or, slice them up to tile onto crackers with cheese slices or crumbles. Cook them down into a compote. Blitz them into a sweet and savory olive spread. Stuff them with cheese and sprinkle on chocolatey cacao nibs. Anyway you think about it, their seeds sparkle with crunch and their flesh is all earthy sweetness.

4. Pack on the crisps.

The idea here is a slice of bread or cracker can carry the cheese and condiments to your mouth without fuss. So, slice up a crusty baguette. Toast it into crostini.  We like several kinds of crackers on our cheese platters and are fond of these snappy rounds from 34 Degrees (the original are our go-to crackers, but the black pepper add a bit of heat that’s nice too). La Panzanella’s mini croccantini are flatbread crackers that are sturdy and crunchy, perfect for cheeses that are especially melty.

5. Go Nuts.

Pile on the nuts for extra texture and flavor to add to your build-a-bite cheese platter. Hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, and walnuts all win our vote. Feeling extra fancy? Glaze walnuts to add to the cheese board.

What are your favorite finds on a cheese board? Find more cheese board ideas by following us @valleyfig on Pinterest.

 

Photo by Jentry

Blue Cheese & Butternut Squash Fig Galette

If you’ve never made a galette before, this rustic butternut squash fig galette recipe has all the flavors of fall folded inside a flaky butter crust for a meatless dinner. Speaking of the all-butter galette dough, you can make it by hand or in a food processor (directions in parentheses). Roll the fig galette dough between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper to make prep and clean-up easy. To save time, purchase prepared pie crust dough and roll or pat into a 12-inch circle. You can also streamline the squash prep by buying 12 ounces of ready-cut butternut squash and cutting it into ½-inch cubes.

Blue Cheese & Butternut Squash Fig Galette

Course Main Course

Ingredients

Galette Crust

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small bits (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 6 tablespoons ice water (more as needed)

Butternut Squash Fig Galette Filling:

  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) 1/2-inch cubed, peeled butternut or other winter squash
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves (or 4 teaspoons dried)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine, dry sherry, or orange juice
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled Blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

Instructions

Make Dough:

  1. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl (or bowl of food processor). Whisk to blend well. (Cover processor and whirl to blend.) Cut in butter with pastry blender (or pulse in food processor) until butter is the size of peas. Stir in enough water to make a dough that keeps together and feels moist when squeezed with your hand (or add water and pulse in food processor). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper or work surface. Form dough into a ball; flatten to a disk. Wrap airtight and chill. Let soften at room temperature 30 minutes before rolling.

Make Filling:

  1. Stem Figs. Cut each into thin slices, then cut each slice lengthwise in half. Set Figs aside. Swirl olive oil into large nonstick skillet. Place over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft and beginning to brown. Stir in squash. Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir in Figs, sage and wine. Cover and steam, adjusting heat as needed, for 12 minutes or until squash is fork-tender. If liquid remains, continue to cook, uncovered, until all liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and cool while rolling dough.

  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll dough between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper to a 12-inch circle. Slide bottom parchment sheet with dough onto an un-rimmed baking sheet.

  3. Stir Parmesan and ½ cup blue cheese into Fig mixture. Spread filling on tart dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Sprinkle remaining blue cheese and green onion on top. Fold up and pleat the border of dough around the filling. Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is hot.

  4. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

Recipe and photo by Lorelle del Matto

 

Oven Baked Salmon with Fig Soy Ginger Glaze

You can find many reasons to love this oven baked salmon especially if you’re looking for a weeknight dinner idea. It’s ready in 20 minutes and a mix of Asian ingredients that pair with autumn flavors of sweet potatoes or winter squash as well as a side of rice (or riced cauliflower if you’d prefer). The California Figs are the star on this ginger glazed salmon—both the figs tiled and baked on the salmon and those spooned on top afterwards. They soak up the sauce and add a bit of umami.

Oven Baked Salmon with Fig Soy Glaze

Oven Baked Salmon with Fig Soy Ginger Glaze

Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 330 kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Golden Figs, stemmed and sliced width-wise
  • 1 pound salmon filets, cut into 4 slices
  • 3 sprigs chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a half baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Heat the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and zest until hot to the touch. Whisk until smooth, stirring in the ginger and figs.

  3. Place the salmon filets on the prepared baking sheet. Spoon half the figs into a small bowl. Tile the remaining figs and pour the sauce onto the filets. Bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with the chives and sesame seeds, spooning the additional figs on or around the salmon once serving.

Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld

 

Instant Pot Rice Pudding with Figs

Today we have a wonderful recipe for you, Instant Pot Rice Pudding with California Figs! Grandma-made fantastic rice pudding. Sweet and so thick and creamy, you had to use a fork to eat it. She put in all kinds of different dried fruits, depending on what she had on hand, but we loved figs best.

Cooking dried figs in instant pot rice pudding adds extra sweetness to this comforting dessert.

Rice pudding is a nostalgic, good old-fashioned treat, comforting and delicious served either warm or cold. Decadent in flavor already, adding California Figs takes this dish completely over the top! To make it even easier, we’ve created this recipe specifically for an electric pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Rice Pudding is the easiest way to make this classic comforting dessert.

California Figs add a beautiful texture to every creamy bite of this rice pudding! They offer lovely bursts of flavor, and are rich in valuable minerals and vitamins. It is the best of both worlds – a luscious dessert and healthy component to balance it.

Have you heard everyone talking about electric pressure cookers or Instant Pots? Are you intrigued? This recipe may be nostalgic, but an instant pot is definitely not your grandmother’s pressure cooker. They have built-in safety features that make it a breeze to use and who doesn’t love that? And, if you’ve never made instant pot rice, you’ll be thrilled to see it’s ready in a snap.

Gluten Free Instant Pot Cookbook will be your trusty guide to making easy gluten-free meals in the instant pot.

How do we know? We wrote a cookbook about it that’s now out in stores. In The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook, we introduce you to how to use an Instant Pot with a comprehensive collection of gluten-free recipes designed for all kinds of electric pressure cookers. Our aim is to help those who cannot eat gluten make their own traditional favorite recipes in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. This book will help you safely and easily cook gluten-free dishes for your family and friends, creating nearly effortless and delicious meals everyone will love.

There are not a lot of books that specifically address the gluten-free Instant Pot community and this one fills that niche. With each recipe, you’ll find recommendations for brands we have found that are gluten-free and work well under pressure. With a wide variety of alternate grains to use in place of wheat or barley, you will find many new delicious options to add to your dinner table, including this recipe for classic Rice Pudding, perfect for a cozy night indoors.

Instant pot rice pudding is an easy way to make a dessert that's perfect in the winter months.

Instant Pot Rice Pudding with Figs

Course Dessert
Servings 6 servings
Calories 410 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and halved
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the figs with boiling water. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to plump. NOTE: If using juice or other liquid to plump the figs, you do not need to boil the liquid. Just cover and soak for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

  2. To Make the Rice Pudding

  3. Combine rice, sugar, salt, and milk in the inner pot of your electric pressure cooker.

  4. Press sauté on your electric pressure cooker and bring contents to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, press cancel, then close and lock the lid, making sure the steam release knob is in the sealing position.

  5. Cook on low pressure for 15 minutes. When the rice is finished, allow a 10 minute natural pressure release. After 10 minutes, turn the knob to venting, releasing any remaining steam. When the float pin drops, unlock the lid and open it carefully. Press cancel.

  6. While the rice is cooling, whisk together the eggs, half and half and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.

  7. Carefully pour in the prepared egg/vanilla mixture into the pot with the rice. Stir to combine. Turn pressure cooker back to the Sauté function. Stir until the rice just begins to boil.

  8. When the rice is hot, drain the figs from their soaking liquid and stir in to the pot.

  9. Serve immediately or pour into a large serving dish to chill. Pudding will thicken as it cools, so you may want to add a little extra half and half if you plan on serving it cold.

Recipe and photos by Sara de Leeuw and Jane Bonacci

(Reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook by Jane Bonacci and Sara de Leeuw, published by Quarto Publishing Group, 2018.)