Market to Table – Certaldo- Francesca’s Figs

Spending more time out in Certaldo, most of my best new recipes come from Francesca at the Certaldo weekly market. She only sells from her own farm and that of an aunt, so what you see is what you get. Today I saw the first figs!

We picked up a whole tray of them when she gave me a recipe for Fichi Sciroppati- figs in syrup. There are several food laws in Italy on how to eat and what to eat.

  1. Salami and Figs
  2. Pecorino cheese and pears
  3. Prosciutto and Melon
  4. Never put parmesan cheese on spicy pasta sauce or when you have a fish sauce.

So I held back on some of the figs to celebrate the first figs of the seaaon, right off her trees this morning. When you eat the a fruit for the first time in a season, you get to make a wish!



The finished fig

Francesca’s recipe is to place the figs in a saucepan ( weigh them first)cut a lemon as thin as possible and put on top.I used 700 grams of figs, and half a lemon for this saucepan. Cover with their weight in sugar and let cook over a low heat. The sugar turns to liquid and the figs poach, soaking up the lemon infused syrup. I let them slowly cook for about 45 minutes.
Place the figs in a clean glass jar with the syrup that has formed and pour Brandy on top! Cover and keep for this winter! Mille Grazie Francesca! She says to serve them on toasted bread, slathered with mascarpone cheese and a fig on top! I adore them with gorgonzola dolce.

Sounds like one of the deadly sins to me!


  1. Palma says

    Oh YES! I can’t wait!

    I was served figs with prosciutto in Umbria this summer, but I am not a purist. I would eat figs with ANYTHING!

  2. says

    Jerry, they may have a hard time in the winter!!!

    But I read about a guy that protected his tree by wrapping it in hay!

    try googling fig trees in Canada!!!

  3. Anonymous says

    Oh My Goodness – I just bought figs from my farmer’s market in Virginia. I was content eating them by themselves, with cheese, with arugula but NOW I know what I will do with them. YUMMM – Thanks for posting this!!!

  4. says

    Palma. they are great with prosciutto, but with salami… the contrast is even better!

    Ed.. although we have fig trees all over the place in the countryside around us, my husband is also fantisizing about having his own fig tree!

  5. says

    These look great, but I’m confused. You said you used 700 grams of figs, then later you say “I removed them and put the remaining figs and added another half a sliced lemon”. What remaining figs? How many figs did you use in all? Did you add more sugar the second time? Am I just being dense?

  6. says

    I want to make this as soon as my figs are ripe, but I am confused by the final step. Do you actually add brandy to them in the jar, or are you referring to the syrup they cooked in? Many thanks for this idea!

  7. says

    I made these this morning as we have had such an abundant season of figs this year and I had a few just begging to do something different with them. This fit the bill. Diane, I had a lot of syrup, so I left a little of the syrup out and kept some space at the top and filled the rest of the jar with some brandy. It seems about right.

  8. says

    I LOVE FIGS! Cut in half with a little gorgonzola in the center then wrapped in proscuitto is an explosion of flavor. I had a treat when last visiting my family near Naples in September….2 huge old fig trees covered in figs. We made fig jam, which I brought home, and ate figs everyday. My fig tree I planted 2 years ago in Seattle is growing very slowly, no figs yet :(

  9. says

    This sounds super yummy, however figs would not last that long in our house. My husband and I go nuts when they are in season and eat them straight from the tree!

    I also like to break rules living in Italy and I put parmesan cheese on everything, spicy pasta and pasta with fish! Oh, yes, yes, I do. But then again, I add peproncino to everything I eat!

  10. Anonymous says

    Made my second batch today. Love Love Love these…. I’m keeping the excess syrup for French Toast because I do not want to waste a gram. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  11. says

    Am I liking this or what Judy! We just picked our first figs too! OK there were only 3…not enough to poach…and you might find this strange but I saw some local ones the other day at $1.99 each!!! I sure hope the second crop that is on our tree gets a chance to ripen! There are lots and I could make this delicious sounding and looking recipe…BTW…I’m with you on the Gorgonzola thing! Also a bit of proscuitto tastes pretty good with the figs and gorgonzola! OK…not waiting for ours…on the lookout for a tree to steal from…just kidding!

  12. Beach lover says

    Sounds delish! I stuff figs with a bit of parmigiana reggiana , wrap in prosciutto and then sauté in aged balsamico (or balsamic glaze)! Talk about the explosion of flavor, WOW! These are fantastico!!!

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