Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Luscious Fig

Did I mention that Oriental is full of massive fig trees/bushes? Many are ripening now. There's a huge bush behind the store where Philip works, and Adam picked over 5 lbs. of ripe figs for me yesterday.
I made preserves. I'd totally forgotten the recipe, and how simple it is. Fig preserves must have been the very first canning I ever did, over 20 years ago. We had figs in Mississippi. They must be a warm-weather fruit.
I made 5 pints of preserves, and they're very, very good. Here's the simple recipe:

Pick ripe, soft figs. Rinse thoroughly in a bath of water with 1 tsp. of baking soda stirred in it. Rinse again. (Ants love figs.) Pat dry and cut off stems. Put in a large bowl and add 3/4 cup of sugar for each pound of figs. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (There may be a quicker alternative, but this is the recipe I followed.) I put this in a large stainless steel pot so I could put it straight on the stove the next day.

The next day, sterilize your jars, lids, and bands. Keep lids in simmering water. Add as much sliced and deseeded lemon  as you like in your preserves, and cook the figs, sugar, and lemon on medium-high to high heat until very hot, bubbling and thickened. Be sure the mixture does not burn on the bottom; stir often. Spoon into jars, wipe the tops clean, and seal. I immediately turn the jars upside as soon as I have the lids and bands on securely, and leave them inverted like that for about 20-30 minutes, and then right them again. This is a quick way to seal the jars without putting them into a hot water bath. I've been doing this for over 15 years and never had a jar of preserves not seal, using this inversion method. I do not think it's intended to be used with other canned foods, only preserves or jams.

4 comments:

  1. Mmmmmmmm Made me drool. Figs are the best! Sounds like a good recipe.

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  2. mmmmm....put some of your preserves over brie sometime!!

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  3. I've never been able to decide which I like better: looking at the gorgeous fig trees, or eating their fruit. I love it best fresh, but dried figs and fig bars are yummy, too. It sounds likely that I'd like the jam!

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