Grilled Cabbage Wedge Salad & Fig Dressing

The wedge salad reinvented. During the summer, we can’t get enough salads, and we have a hunch you’ll love this cabbage wedge salad recipe. Pull out the grill and skip the iceberg. With some heat and char from the grill, this cabbage wedge salad is one you will crave. Whisk together a fig and herb dressing, featuring our Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs to pour over each grilled cabbage wedge and you’re almost there. All you need is a sprinkle of bacon and crumbled blue cheese to complete this grilled wedge salad. While you’re grilling the cabbage, make sure to keep an eye on the wedges—the times listed below are estimates as grills vary in heat intensity. You’ll want to serve this salad with steak knives to slice the leaves off the cabbage core. Instead of golden or white balsamic vinegar, feel free to use white wine or rice wine vinegar—just make sure to add a teaspoon or two of sugar. If you don’t have or care for blue cheese, go ahead and swap it out with feta or gorgonzola.

As an alternative tossed salad option, cool the grilled cabbage wedges, just cut the leaves from the core, which you will discard, and then thinly slice it. Then toss the cabbage with a couple cups of your favorite spring salad mix, some sliced radishes, the bacon, and blue cheese in the fig dressing before serving.

Grilled Cabbage Wedge Salad

Grilled Cabbage Wedge Salad & Fig Dressing

Switch up your salad routine with our grilled cabbage wedge salad. Sprinkled with bacon, blue cheese and sweet figs, this cabbage wedge recipe will be a hit.

Calories 360 kcal

Ingredients

California Fig-Herb Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons golden or white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives or green onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme, oregano, or combination
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Grilled Cabbage and Toppings

  • 1 head green or savoy cabbage, about 2 pounds of 7-inch diameter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cooked, chopped bacon (about 4 slices)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Instructions

  1. For dressing, whisk together vinegar, water, salt and pepper to dissolve salt. Stir in Figs, chives, and thyme. Stir in olive oil. Set aside for 1 hour while preparing other ingredients.

  2. Prepare a grill for medium heat.

  3. Remove and discard tough outer leaves from cabbage. Cut cabbage in half. Cut each half into 3 to 4 wedges (each about 2 ¾-inches thick), leaving the core attached to the leaves to hold each wedge together. Brush wedges on cut sides lightly with oil and sprinkle with salt.

  4. Place wedges cut sides down, on grill over medium, direct heat. Cover grill and cook for 4 to 7 minutes or until edges are lightly charred and cabbage begins to soften. With grilling tongs or spatula, turn wedges over. Recover grill and cook for another 3 to 7 minutes, until edges char slightly and cabbage is crisp-tender.

  5. Place cooked wedges on serving plates or a platter. Remove Figs with slotted spoon and scatter around cabbage wedges. Drizzle dressing on the grilled cabbage wedge salad and sprinkle with bacon and blue cheese.

Recipe and photo by Lorelle del Matto

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Chocolate S’mores with Figs

Summer’s official treat is the s’more and chocolate s’mores will be your new favorite grilled dessert. What is it about two graham crackers sandwiching a slightly charred, soft marshmallow and square of melty chocolate that makes most of us swoon? We always want some more of chocolate smores! Whether eating outdoors on balmy summer nights or camping in the woods, there’s a reason s’mores are a classic summer dessert. You could buy your marshmallows and grahams, but we have a hunch once you try chocolate s’mores with hints of orange and sweet Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Dried Figs, you’ll be hooked! Think of them as s’mores for adults. You’ll find recipes for the graham crackers and the marshmallows below, but feel free to simplify by using store-bought. If you prefer dark chocolate or can’t find orange-flavored chocolate, use what you like. We’ve included instructions for making the chocolate s’mores under the broiler or if you’re in the woods, over a campfire.

Chocolate S'mores with mission dried figs and orange-scented dark chocolate are the classic dessert elevated.

Chocolate S'mores with Figs

Chocolate smores from scratch: homemade chocolate grahams and honey marshmallows sandwich sweet mission dried figs for craveable chocolate s'mores.

Course Dessert
Servings 16 open-faced or 32 sandwiches
Calories 470 kcal

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cinnamon Graham Crackers

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar (about 4.5 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup graham or whole wheat flour (3.75 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (1.5 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses (1.5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons water or brewed coffee, cold (1 ounce)
  • Sanding sugar for sprinkling

For the Honey Vanilla Marshmallows

  • Cornstarch, for dusting
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unflavored granulated gelatin
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (14 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup honey (orange blossom preferred)
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
  • Confectioner's sugar, for dusting

For the Figs

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 7 ounce) package Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs, whole

To Assemble the S'mores

  • 12 squares orange flavored dark chocolate

Instructions

To Make the Graham Crackers

  1. Heat oven to 325F.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, two flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

  3. Add the softened butter and mix with clean hands or a wooden spoon until the butter is completely worked into the flour.

  4. Stir the molasses and water together very well and pour into the flour mixture.

  5. Mix with a wooden spoon until you have a sticky, soft dough.

  6. Liberally flour a work surface with all purpose flour, place the dough on the floured surface, and sprinkle a generous amount of flour on top of the dough. Knead a few times with your hands until the dough is relatively smooth. Note: dough will be soft.

  7. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a sheet of parchment paper. Roll each half, flouring as necessary, into a rough rectangle approximately 1/8” thick.

  8. Use a pizza cutter to cut an even rectangle about 12” x 9”. Prick each sheet of dough all over with a fork. Evenly sprinkle on some sanding sugar and roll lightly with the rolling pin so it adheres.

  9. You may re-roll the scraps from each rectangle to make a few extra crackers if you like.

  10. Move each rectangle of dough, parchment and all, onto a sheet pan.

  11. Bake one pan at a time for 15-17 minutes until the crackers look dry and are starting to color around the edges.

  12. Remove from the oven and use a pizza cutter to cut each rectangle of dough into 12 crackers (4 by 3).

  13. Allow the crackers to cool on the parchment for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Crackers will crisp as they cool.

  14. Store in a self-sealing bag at room temperature for up to 5 days.

To Make the Marshmallows

  1. Spray a half sheet pan liberally with pan spray. Evenly sift on a thick layer of cornstarch across the bottom and the sides of the pan. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place ½ cup of the cold water and the granulated gelatin.

  3. Stir to combine and set aside.

  4. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the rest of the cold water, the sugar, salt, honey and corn syrup.

  5. Bring to a boil, put the lid on the pan, and allow to boil for a minute. Note: Because of the impurities in the honey, the syrup will expand quite a bit more than you think it will, so use a pan that seems much larger than you think necessary.

  6. Remove the lid and cook the syrup to 240F. Check the temperature by using a clip-on candy thermometer or testing frequently with an instant read thermometer.

  7. Once the syrup reaches 240F, immediately turn the mixer on low speed and pour all the syrup into the bowl, letting it run down the inside of the bowl rather than pouring it onto the whisk.

  8. Slowly turn up the speed to medium and then high speed and whip until the marshmallow has tripled in volume and is very thick and shiny, about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and continue to whip for a minute to incorporate.

  9. Spray a silicone spatula with pan spray and scrape the marshmallow onto the prepared sheet pan. Spray the back of an offset spatula with pan spray and use that to spread the marshmallow evenly in the pan.

  10. Sift a liberal amount of confectioners’ sugar evenly over the marshmallow (enough so you cannot see any shiny marshmallow under the thick coating of sugar.

  11. Let the marshmallow sit out at room temperature, uncovered, for 12 hours.

  12. Cut around the edges of the marshmallow and turn it out onto a clean work surface. Brush off the excess sugar and cornstarch, and put it in a large self-sealing bag.

  13. Use a pizza cutter to slice the finished marshmallow into 1 ½” squares.

  14. Place a few cut marshmallows at a time into the bag and shake to coat the cut sides with the cornstarch/confectioners’ sugar mixture. Store in the bag at room temperature for up to a week.

To Poach the Figs

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except the figs.

  2. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the whole dried figs, bring the mixture back to a boil and then reduce the heat, cover the pan, and maintain a high simmer for 30 minutes.

  4. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to come to room temperature.

  5. Store the figs in the refrigerator in the poaching syrup for up to two weeks.

To Assemble the S’mores

  1. Slice figs into thin slices. You will want 3-4 slices per s’more.

  2. On a sheet pan, place 12 chocolate graham crackers. Layer on 1 square of chocolate and 1 marshmallow per cracker.

  3. Place under the broiler, about 6” from the coil, and broil until the marshmallows are light golden brown on top, have gotten puffy, and the hard edges have softened as they melt.

  4. Remove from the broiler and place 3-4 slices of poached fig on top of each marshmallow. Top with a second chocolate graham cracker and serve warm.

  5. You can also make the s’mores in the traditional way by toasting the marshmallows on sticks held over a fire, placing the toasted marshmallow on one graham cracker topped with a square of chocolate and then using another graham cracker to sandwich the marshmallow. Pull out the stick and enjoy!

Recipe and photo by Jenni Field

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Sticky Toffee Crisp Rice Treats

Make a childhood classic updated for adult palates too: Sticky Toffee Crisp Rice Treats.

The popular crispy rice treats recipe is updated for adults but equally enjoyed by kids! We’ve taken one of our favorite desserts, sticky toffee pudding, made with Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs and turned it into a childhood treat. For a fun way to riff on this sticky toffee crisp rice treats, check out the note below for tips to make crispy rice treat lollipops using cookie cutters. Chocolate and figs are a natural pairing. Dress up the casual snack for a sophisticated dessert by dipping or drizzling the crisp rice treats in white or dark chocolate.

Sticky Toffee Crisp Rice Treats


Course Dessert
Calories 90 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) thinly sliced and stemmed Sun-Maid California Golden Figs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal

Instructions

  1. When a classic snack mashes up with a favorite dessert, you get sticky toffee crispy rice treats! The secret to this crispy rice treats recipe is dried figs.

  2. Place a large skillet over low heat. Melt the butter and figs in the skillet, stirring occasionally, keeping butter in the middle of the skillet with the figs on the outer edges. The butter will separate into liquid and solids. At this point, swirl the pan or stir continually, submerging the figs into the butter—look for a slight foam to form that takes on a light brown color. The aroma will be a bit nutty, about 4 to 8 minutes.

  3. Immediately transfer the butter and figs to a food processor, swiping the skillet clean with a spatula. Process the butter and figs until a paste forms.

  4. Transfer the fig paste to a large saucepan set over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt, and cook for 2 minutes. The butter should separate a little from the fig paste and you’ll hear a sizzle. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the marshmallows until combined and melted. Stir in the cereal until coated.

  5. Transfer the sticky cereal to the prepared sheet pan, pressing into an even layer with the spatula. Cool for an hour. Lift up on the foil and move to a flat surface. Lightly coat a cookie cutter with cooking spray. Press all the way down and place the cut-out onto a plate. Continue, cutting shapes close together as possible. Store in single layer stacks on waxed paper or foil in a sealed container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them in a sealed container—just remember to defrost them on the counter for 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: Transfer the sticky cereal to the prepared sheet pan, pressing into an even layer with the spatula. Cool for an hour. Lift up on the foil and move to a flat surface. Lightly coat a cookie cutter with cooking spray. Press all the way down and place the cut-out onto a plate. Continue, cutting shapes close together as possible. Store in single layer stacks on waxed paper or foil in a sealed container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them in a sealed container—just remember to defrost them on the counter for 10 minutes.

NOTE: Save the scraps! Ball them up and press flat. Then continue to stamp out cookie cutter shaped crispy rice treats. One note here: the treats made from the scraps can be a bit tender so, freeze for a few minutes to help them keep their shape.

Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Charcuterie Plate with Dried Fig Relish

Pulling together the perfect charcuterie plate is a cinch especially with dried fig relish and these tips from Sally Pasley Vargas.

A show-stopping charcuterie platter makes a gorgeous statement for a party and it’s relatively stress free. In other words, it’s not cooking. It’s shopping!

The elements on the charcuterie plate—sliced cured meats, wedges of cheese, some pickles or olives, mustard, toasted nuts, fresh and dried fruit—pair well with something a bit tart and sweet, like this simple dried fig relish made with Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs.

The “recipe” for the charcuterie platter here is just a guideline. You can concentrate on a particular region and choose meats and cheeses from France, Italy or Spain for example, or you can be guided by what appeals to you that is available in the market. For the meats, allow 2 ounces per person for an appetizer platter, up to 5 ounces if the platter is for a meal. Choices range from pre-sliced meats such as prosciutto or Spanish ham (Serrano or Iberico), Italian dry cured beef (bresaola ), German speck and mortadella. Hard salamis such as sopressata, smoked kielbasa and capicola are also good candidates.

Offer three types of cheeses—something soft and pungent like a soft blue Castello, a triple crème Tur or Brillat-Savarin, or Brie; something firm like an aged Parmigiano; and something in between, like a Gouda or Spanish manchego. Once again, be guided by your taste and what is available, or focus on a particular region or country.

Wash all of it down with a chilled rose or sparkling Lambrusco. It’s officially summer; the living should be easy!

Charcuterie Plate with Dried Fig Relish

Course Cheese Plates
Servings 6 servings
Calories 600 kcal

Ingredients

Dried Fig Relish

  • 1 cup diced Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped green olives
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons snipped mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Platter

  • Dried Fig Relish
  • 12 ounces sliced, cured meat
  • 3 wedges of cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
  • Small pot of mustard
  • 1/2 pound red or purple grapes
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup olives
  • 1/2 cup cornichons
  • Toasted baguette slices
  • Crackers

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, stir together the figs, olives, almonds, celery, and mint leaves.

  2. Stir in the vinegar and oil and taste. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a small serving bowl.

  3. Arrange the dried fig relish, meat, cheese, almonds, mustard, grapes, berries, olives and cornichons on a platter. Serve with baguette and crackers

Recipe and photo by Sally Pasley Vargas

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Dried Fig Pop Tarts with Rhubarb Glaze

Making dried fig pop tarts is so easy they're great for weekend mornings.

Plan ahead! The fig jam, made with Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, and the rhubarb syrup can be made at least a day in advance. The fig pop tarts are best fresh out of the oven, but still totally delicious after a couple of days. These fig pop tarts would be a great portable dessert for your next barbecue or cookout. They also would be welcome as breakfast too—can you imagine how warm fig pop tarts would sweeten any morning? This will become one of your new favorite fig pastry recipes.

Dried Fig Pop Tarts with Rhubarb Glaze

Course Breakfast
Servings 6 servings
Calories 480 kcal

Ingredients

Dried Fig Jam

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 15-20 Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs, stemmed
  • 2 star anise

Rhubarb Glaze

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Pop Tarts

  • 2 sheets pastry dough

Instructions

Make the California Dried Fig Jam

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the water, honey, lemon juice, vanilla and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 8 minutes. Add dried figs and anise, and simmer until jammy, 25 to 30 minutes.

  2. Remove the fig mixture from the heat and cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to refrigerator to cool completely.

Make the Rhubarb Glaze

  1. While the figs are cooking, make the rhubarb syrup for the icing. In another small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the water, rhubarb, and honey. Simmer until the rhubarb turns to mush, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool. Carefully strain and discard rhubarb pieces. Set rhubarb syrup aside.

Make the Fig Pop Tarts

  1. Heat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Lay both pieces of pastry dough on a work surface. Roll the circles to 11 inches across. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the edges off (about 1 inch off all sides) to create two 9-inch squares. Then cut each square into three 3-inch strips.

  3. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cooled jam on one end of each strip. Fold one end over the end with jam. Use a fork to crimp the edges on all sides. Repeat with remaining dough strips. Transfer the hand pies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and cool them completely.

  5. Finish making the glaze: Whisk powdered sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the rhubarb syrup until it creates an icing glaze. Spoon over the top of each fig pop tart and let harden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe and photo by Renee Frojo

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Overnight French Toast Casserole with Figs

French Toast Casserole with California Dried Figs is going to be your go-to breakfast recipe for when company comes to town.

During the holidays or anytime you’ve got a full house, you need a ringer breakfast recipe that keeps it easy on the cook! You could make a stack of Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with California Mission Figs, and we think you’ll like overnight French toast with Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs. It’s the breakfast everyone will be excited to gather around as the coffee brews. What makes it great for you is that this overnight French toast casserole can be prepped the night before and then baked off in the oven in the morning. Easy!

Overnight French Toast Casserole with Figs

Course Breakfast
Calories 390 kcal

Ingredients

Casserole

  • Butter for greasing
  • 1 loaf crusty French bread, sourdough or whole wheat round (it should yield 10 to 11 cups of bread chunks)
  • 1 1/4 cups Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)

Topping

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup raspberries

Optional Toppings for Serving

  • Raspberries
  • Maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Grease a large casserole dish with butter. A 9x13-inch dish works well for this recipe. Set the casserole dish aside.

  2. Chop the bread into 1-inch chunks. Transfer the chunks into a large bowl.

  3. Chop the figs into quarters. If using large figs, chop them into smaller pieces.

  4. Spread half of the bread chunks into the greased dish. Top with half of the chopped figs. Add the remaining bread chunks to the dish, and then top with the remaining figs.

  5. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk, sugar, and lemon zest and mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Carefully pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread and figs.

  6. Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  7. When you are ready to bake the French toast casserole, preheat the oven to 375ºF. Position an oven rack to the center position.

  8. Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Turn off the heat and mix in the sugar and cinnamon.

  9. Remove the French toast casserole from the refrigerator and unwrap the pan. Using a large spoon, drizzle the melted butter mixture over the casserole. Sprinkle 2/3 cup of raspberries over the bread chunks.

  10. Bake the casserole for 33 to 40 minutes, until the bread on the top of the casserole is brown and crisp.

  11. Let the casserole cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the casserole with more raspberries and maple syrup.

Recipe and photo by Lisa Lin

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with California Figs

There’s a lot to love about ricotta pancakes. They’re the kind of breakfast for lazy mornings, for brunch, or even during the holidays if you’re not slinging  Overnight French Toast Casserole. By beating the egg whites until they’re stiff peaks, they add height to the pancakes. What we think you’ll really love about this lemon ricotta pancake recipe is the lemon-infused Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs. Each bite is a burst of tangy sweetness. You could always serve these pancakes with butter and maple syrup, but we like them best with confectioner’s sugar dusted on top.
Ricotta pancakes are light, fluffy and perfect for breakfast--this lemon ricotta pancake recipe is great for celebratory breakfasts and brunches.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with California Figs

Course Breakfast
Servings 8 pancakes / 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Mission California Figs, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat the lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey over medium heat for 1 minute Stir together. Pour over the figs in a bowl and toss. Steep for 10 minutes.

  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar, and ricotta. Stir in the milk and lemon honey-infused figs.

  4. Beat the egg whites until you achieve stiff peaks.

  5. Stir together the figgy yolk mixture into the flour until just combined. Fold in the egg whites until combined.

  6. Set a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once a drip of water sizzles in the skillet, it’s ready. Turn the heat down to medium low. Brush a little butter onto the surface of the skillet (and as needed as you’re cooking the pancakes). Portion out 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet and smooth into a circle. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side. You’ll know it’s ready to flip when a spatula can easily lift a corner of the pancake, bubbles have pricked the surface of the pancake, and the side of the pancake is no longer glossy.

  7. Repeat and cook the remaining batter. Dust the pancakes with powdered sugar and serve.

Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Dig into the Health Benefits of Dried Figs

Health benefits of dried figs are plenty and whatever your lifestyle, California Figs fit.When you eat Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs, you help yourself to the health benefits of dried figs. Whether savoring flavorful figs as a snack or in your favorite recipes, dried figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber, a wealth of essential minerals such as potassium, iron and calcium, and rich in health-promoting antioxidants and complex carbohydrates.

California Dried Figs, both dark purple Mission and amber-colored Goldens, are an excellent source of dietary fiber and a great way to get your suggested daily intake of dietary fiber. Fiber that occurs naturally in foods like figs may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. A small handful, about 3 to 5 dried figs depending on the variety, provides 5 grams of dietary fiber or 20% of the Daily Value. Dried Fig benefits include being a high source of fiber and containing both soluble and insoluble fiber. Ounce-for-ounce dried figs have more dietary fiber than most other common fruits. Boost your potassium intake by choosing foods with potassium, which may help to lower your blood pressure and are found in fruits, such as figs.

Because figs are a whole food source of important nutrients and have no fat, cholesterol or sodium, they help you meet today’s Dietary Guidelines established by the US Department of Agriculture. A daily lifestyle focusing on balancing calories, making informed food choices, and being physically active can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health.

Why do you eat dried figs for health?

Fig Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes

Every year, when Easter rolls around, we’ve got an arsenal of recipes we turn to. The main dish is easily our Fig Brown Sugar Glazed Ham and usually we pass around deviled eggs as a starter. But, when it comes to dessert, we crave carrot cake around this time of year and this is a carrot cake recipe to hold onto. Instead of serving tall slices of layer cake, we’re opting for mini bundt cakes, full of sweet Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs and honey cream cheese drizzle on top. Spring forward on this festive dessert to share at celebrations and with carrot cake lovers.

Fig Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes with Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle is going to be your favorite carrot cake recipe.

Fig Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes with Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle

Course Dessert
Servings 12 mini bundt cakes

Ingredients

Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes

  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups shredded carrot, about 8 ounces (shredded with large holes of box grater)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, toasted walnuts

Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle

  • 6 ounces 1/3 less fat or regular cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice

Instructions

  1. Grate orange peel to make 1 teaspoon zest. Halve orange and ream to make juice. Combine figs and ¼ cup juice in microwave safe bowl (reserve remaining juice for Drizzle); cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Set aside.

  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat 12 mini-bundt molds with baking spray or oil. Dust with flour and tap out excess.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, granulated and brown sugar until blended. Slowly beat in oil, vanilla and orange zest. With spatula, mix in fig mixture and carrots. Gently fold in dry ingredients, just until combined.

  5. Spoon batter into bundt molds. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Run a thin knife around edges if needed to help release cakes.

  6. To make Drizzle: beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until blended. Beat in honey, vanilla and enough orange juice to make a frosting of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cakes. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Recipe and photo by Lorelle Del Matto

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Fig Brown Sugar-Glazed Ham with Carrots

This Fig Brown Sugar Glazed Ham recipe is a ringer for the holidays. It's super easy to make and delicious.

This is the best ham I’ve ever eaten. If you always host during the holidays or this is your first holiday meal to make from scratch, you will love how easy this Easter ham recipe is, featuring Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs. The fig brown sugar glazed ham leftovers are great in hash for breakfast the morning after. We always make ham sandwiches or ham roll-ups with them and they’re great in my deviled ham spread too.

Fig Brown Sugar Glazed Ham


Course Main Course
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice Mission Figlets or Sun-Maid® California Mission Figs, stemmed (divided)
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 pounds bone-in ham
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 cup apple juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

  2. Make the glaze: combine ½ cup California Figs, Dijon, grainy mustard, and honey in a food processor or blender. Process well—the mixture will have some chunks in it. Set aside.

  3. Place the ham into a large baking dish. Add the carrots.

  4. Slather the glaze over the ham. Sprinkle with brown sugar, pressing it into the sides of the ham.

  5. Top the carrots with the remaining California Figs.

  6. Drizzle the juice around the bottom of the pan.

  7. Seal tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour (15 minutes per pound).

  8. Remove the ham and place it in a serving dish. Strain the sauce from the baking dish into a gravy boat to serve alongside. Nestle the carrots and figs drizzled with pan juices along the side of the serving dish.

Recipe and photo by Debra Clark

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!