What is figs “vincotto”?
The real “vincotto” of figs is obtained through the cooking of ripe figs in water for a long period of time: the final result, properly worked, has a similar texture to honey. It is usually used in cuisine to pair desserts and ice cream but also second courses of meat and fish. Peasant traditions indicate it as a great helper in coughing and sore throat. To obtain “vincotto” of figs you only need water and figs: consider that with twenty figs you will get just over a liter of wine. Let’s find out what’s needed and which steps are needed to prepare this recipe.
Preparing “vincotto” of figs: what you need
The ingredients to prepare “vincotto” of figs are simple. To get about one liter of “vincotto” you need, about 20 kg of figs and water. However, it will be necessary to have some tools; in particular you need a large pot, jute bag (or a thin cloth weave), and a small colander. Making “vincotto” of figs is not difficult but takes time: at least one whole day.
The recipe for vincotto “Step by step”
How do you prepare “vincotto” of figs? First cut the figs in two halves of similar size: you can choose any variety of figs as long as they are ripe and sweet otherwise you will risk compromising the final taste of “vincotto”. Once you cut the figs put them in a large pot. Tradition wants you to use Callara, a special copper pot to be placed on live fire but, if you have to prepare “vincotto” at home, you can use a simple pot as long as it is large. Alternatively you have to divide the figs into several smaller pots.
Once you have put the figs on fire, cover with water and let them bake on moderate heat for few hours. The figs will be cooked once they have absorbed all the water until it reaches a soft consistency. Then add a bowl and put the figs inside a jute bag to squeeze their juice. This way you will easily divide the peel and seeds from the liquid that you will need to go on with the recipe. If you don’t have time you can close bag really tight, hang it on the container and leave it for a few hours. If you need to speed up press the bag with a wooden ladle to make the juice go down faster. To be sure the liquid does not contain traces of seeds and peels, pass it a second time in a colander or a thin-cut sieve.
At this point, place the juice back on the fire and let it thicken until it reached a rather dense consistency, roughly like honey. During this phase, carefully observe the pot and use a ladle to blend your “vincotto” of figs or remove the excess foam from the surface.
How to store and use “vincotto” of figs
Once all the operations are concluded and it reached the desired consistency, you are ready to bottle your “vincotto” that can be stored at room temperature in a dry and dark place for several months.
For its sweet taste, “vincotto” can be perfectly paired with fruit, ice cream or dessert. In these recent years, it has also begun to be use to dress particularly delicate meats and fish: the success is certain. One of the most famous recipes of the tradition is to use “vincotto” with the famous “cartellate”, typical dessert of Apulian cuisine.
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