International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

İncir Reçeli

Bowl of green figs

(Turkish green fig preserves)

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Turks make a mouthwatering variety of fresh fruit jams and preserves (reçeler). İncir reçeli, pronounced "in-jeer reh-CHEH-lee," is one of the most popular. Firm, unripe figs simmer in a sugar syrup until they glisten like emeralds and are infused with sweetness.

Figs come into season in late spring and again in late summer. For this recipe, look for figs that are firm to the touch.

About 2 pints

Ingredients

  • Unripe figs -- 1 pound
  • Sugar -- 2 cups
  • Water -- 2 cups
  • Lemon, juice only -- 1/2

Method

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high flame. Add the figs, and boil for about 30 seconds. Drain the figs and rinse them with cold water.
  2. Trim the stems and peel the skin from the figs with a paring knife. Use gloved hands to keep the juice from the figs from staining your hands.
  3. Add the sugar, 2 cups water and lemon juice to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the figs, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The syrup will darken.
  4. Pour the figs and syrup into clean jars. Seal tightly and store for a couple days before eating. The preserves will keep in the refrigerator for a couple months.
  5. Spread on slices of buttered bread for a light breakfast or snack.

Incir Receli Variations

  • Not all recipes call for peeling the figs. You can also use dried figs. Rehydrate the figs by soaking them in water overnight before adding them to the simmering syrup.
  • Insert a whole blanched almond into the bottom of each fig before simmering them.
  • Add 3 or 4 whole cloves to the simmering figs for a subtle spice. Or stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

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