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Kim Boyce's Fig Butter : The Good Soup

Kim Boyce’s Fig Butter
  • Gluten Free
  • Pesceterian
  • Vegetarian

Here is that most essential ingredient to Figgy Buckwheat Scones, but don’t stop there. This jam pairs perfectly on a cheese plate with a triple cream or camembert. Or spread it thickly on toast for breakfast.

Kim Boyce’s Fig Butter

Taken with no adaptation from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain, p.199. Makes around 2 cups.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup port
  • 12 ounces dried figs (Kim uses Black Mission Figs, but I can’t find any here so I used a combination of brown and white figs))
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

Remove the stems from the figs with a serrated knife, and discard any that are strangely coloured (sometimes I find a few suss figs among an otherwise good lot).

In a heavy based saucepan, add the sugar to 1/4 cup water and stir gently over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Becareful not to splash the sugar water up the sides of the pan, as this can crystallise and stuff with your caramel.

Add the star anise and cloves to the sugar water and bring to the boil. Don’t stir but try to keep the mixture on an even heat, keep an eye on even colouring. If things get out of balance, gently swirl the mixture to even it up again. Keep the sugar water cooking until the mixture is an amber brown.

At this point, add the red wine, port, figs and cinnamon. The mixture will spit and sizzle, and the caramel will solidify.

Don’t worry, this is momentary.  Continue to cook over a medium flame, stirring, until the caramel dissolves again and everything blends together.

Reduce the flame to low and continue to cook the figs until they are very soft and the wine-y liquid has reduced by around half. This will take around 30minutes, but look for the evidence rather than at the clock.

Once this point is reached, take the pot from the stove and let the figs cool down. Fish out the cloves and anise, counting to make sure you’ve got them all. I had to go through the figs a couple of times to locate all the cloves.

Once cool, place the figs and their liquid into a food processor and process until very smooth. Add the soft butter and process again.

You can use the fig butter straight away, on figgy buckwheat scones. The amount you make here is enough to double the recipe. Or refrigerate the butter for a month or longer even. I used the fig butter, scooped cold from the fridge, on a cheese platter with a French Triple Cream, Camembert and these crackers.


  1. Magic of Spice
    November 7, 2011 at 1:52 am | | Reply

    Oh my…total heaven and so agree this would be beautiful with a lovely soft bread and warm toast :)

  2. Vegan Bakerista
    November 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm | | Reply

    Great recipe! I purchased a jar of Trader Joes’s Fig Butter and fell in love. In case you have any left over fig butter, check out my recipe for Fig Butter Almond Cookies! They are Gluten Free and Vegan too:


    I’m going to go have a spoonful of fig butter right now ;)

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