Ocracoke Fig Festival starts today
Ocracoke’s fifth annual Fig Festival celebrates the island’s sweetest tradition: fig preserves and fig cakes.
This year’s event begins on Friday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. on the grounds at the Ocracoke Preservations Society Museum. Learn about Ocracoke fig trees and fig recipes, and vote for your favorite in the fig preserves contest. You can also join in a Traditional Ocracoke Square Dance to the tunes of Molasses Creek.
On Saturday starting at 10 a.m., the Fig Festival moves to the historic Community Square. Local vendors provide fresh figs, fig preserves, local cookbooks, fig-smoked BBQ, and other fig-tastic items.
The main event is the fig cake bake-off, with free samples for everyone.
Fig and Lime Jam
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
2 pounds fresh Brown Turkey figs, cut into (1/4-inch) pieces (about 6 cups)
What to do
Combine all ingredients in a large heavy saucepan; mash fig mixture with a potato masher until combined. Let stand 2 hours. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer 35 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken slightly, stirring occasionally. Cool completely. Cover and chill overnight. Yields 4 cups
Fudgy Fig Pudding Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄4 cup butter, melted
1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped fresh figs
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, optional
1⁄4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3⁄4 cup hottest tap water
What to do
Heat oven to 350° F. In ungreased 8 or 9-inch square pan, stir together flour, sugar, 3 TBS cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. With fork, blend in milk, butter and vanilla until smooth. Stir in figs, chocolate morsels and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar and remaining 1⁄4 cup cocoa evenly over top. Pour hot water evenly over top. Do not stir. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until sauce forms on bottom and cake on top is set. Cool for 15 minutes. Serve in dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over each serving. Top with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh raspberries, if desired. Serves 9.
Courtesy North Carolina Cooperative Extension