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Juicy and deeply flavorful, fresh fig pie can be made with small figs from a Southern fig bush, or with brown turkey or mission figs

It’s too late for figs here in Piedmont North Carolina, the late summer season having passed us by — though with warmer than usual days popping up now and then, it can be difficult to tell. They come and go quickly, and by the time we’ve eaten them fresh off the tree, or wrapped in proscuitto or chopped up and mixed with toasted cumin for a delicious salsa, or canned a few batches as fig preserves or fig jam, they are gone for the year. Fresh market still had some beautiful deep purple mission figs and greenish-reddish-brownish brown turkey figs, and chopped up coarsely and tossed with sugar, flour, a bit of cinnamon, a splash of lemon juice and bits of butter, they made a fine pie. The color and flavor remind me of the muscadine pie from last week, but they have their own figginess and distinctive quality as well. Just wonderful as is, but a scoop of vanilla ice cream or plump cloud of whipped cream would stretch the juicy filling just a tad bit further and would not be turned down around here.  To prepare the figs, cut away and discard the stem end and a very thin slice of the blossom end; then halve them lengthwise and crosswise to make generous chunks.

Ripe brown turkey figs, soon to be stemmed and chopped coarsely for fresh fig pie

Nancie’s Fresh Fig Pie

Pastry for a double-crust pie

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups very coarsely chopped fresh ripe figs (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 tablespoons lemon juice, or cider vinegar or white vinegar

1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into bits

Heat the oven to 375 degress F. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, and stir with a fork to mix well. In a medium bowl, combine the figs and the sugar-flour mixture, and toss gently to mix them evenly. Pour the figs into the piecrust, and mound them up toward the center in to a little pile. Pour lemon juice over the figs, and dot with the bits of butter. Cover with the top crust and press the sides together to seal them well. Trim and fold the edges under firmly; then crimp to seal the pie, or press the edges down with the tines of a fork to seal them and make a pretty design. Use a fork or a knife to make steam vents so that steam and juicy filling can escape as the pie cooks. Place in the 375 degree F oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake until the filling is thick and juicy and bubbling out around the top of the pie, and until the crust is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and cool to room temperature.

Copyright Nancie McDermott, October 2010, all rights reserved.

About the Author
Nancie McDermott is a food writer and cooking teacher, and the author of ten cookbooks. Her passion is researching and celebrating traditional food in its cultural context, and her beloved subjects are two seemingly different places with much in common: the cuisines of Asia and of the American South. Nancie gained her Southern kitchen wisdom as a Piedmont North Carolina native,and her Asian culinary research commenced soon after college, when she was sent to northeastern Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer.
  1. domenicacooks Reply

    Nancie, this looks so delicious. I still have a few baby/teenage figs lingering on my little tree and I’m hoping they will ripen before it gets too cold! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Domenica

  2. Tina Reply

    Hi, I found your recipe via google, and loved it! I had half a container of brown turkey figs in the fridge that were about to be too ripe, so I adapted the recipe loosely to make a small tart with just a scrap of pastry dough on top. So yummy. Thanks 🙂

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      I’m so delighted to know this. That’s the ticket, a recipe is a map, an opportunity and a guideline, but then you can adapt it according to what you have, and exactly where you want to go. Thanks for visiting and letting me be part of a happy ending for a small abundance of figs. Too short a season to let such treasures go to waste!

  3. Amanda Reply

    I made this pie using figs from last summer that I froze. I thawed them in cool water and drained them. The pie came out great! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      What wonderful news! I have never frozen figs, but this year I am going to do just that. I’m so glad you liked it, and told me that, and gave me this tip.

  4. Eq4bits (@Eq4bits) Reply

    I have two HUGE fig trees, one a turkey the other either an alma or a celeste, and have beaucoup figs in my freezer (and plenty of fig preserves, fig jam, fig jelly, fig syrup, strawberry-fig preserves, and fig ‘meat’ (to make homemade fig newtons) canned and in the pantry, as well as several gallon bags in the freezer. The trees already have little bitty baby figs on them so I need to start using some of those frozen ones! This pie will be first on the list; I’m also going to try fried fig pies (I may make a few fried peach pies too as I have a few gallons of sliced peaches in the freezer too).

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      You are living in FIG CITY, and I am so happy for you! (Sorry to be so slow about replying to your comment.) We will not have figs ripe here in North Carolina until much later in the summer, so I am wishing I had stocked up last year so I could “fig out” along with you. I love knowing about your comprehensive and wide-ranging fig repertoire. If you would ever be willing to share your recipe for those cookies (fig “meat”), I would be most grateful. And fried fig pies: Brilliant! Would you use dried figs, as people tend to do with dried apples and dried peaches? Yours in fig-giness, Nancie.

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  6. Natalie O'Dell Reply

    I have been freezing figs for years tp make fig jam. Am about to make fig peach pie from ypur fig pie recipe! I am in South Carolina and in fig heaven! thanj=ks for your fig knowledge!

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      My pleasure! Did you see that I happened to switch out the header on my blog this very morning, to show fig leaves? We are great minds, thinking alike! It’s a fig bush I came across on a downtown residential street in Richmond last June. I love that fig pie, but now I want fig-peach pie because that is brilliant. Figs up here in NC are not in yet, I don’t think, though I don’t actually have a bush/tree. Usually August….Must be patient.

  7. Ken Reply

    A friend of mines grandaughter came down to Texas for the summer. Her granddad has ripe figs on his tree,I went to get some to make fig perserves & his grandaughter asked if I could make a fig pie.I will try your recipe tomorrow & take his Canadian grandaughter the pie. Hope she enjoy’s it. Thanks for the recipe. |Ken in Texas

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      Thank you for letting me know. So delighted and I hope the pie turned out well. Fig preserves will be a golden treasure in the middle of winter, reminding you of these good deeds you are doing now. And with fig preserves, you can make a big ol’ fig cake with buttermilk glaze! All the best, Ken…

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