Monday, August 5, 2013

Homemade Fig Preserves

Figs are truly a rare treat whether you enjoy them fresh or preserved. There are so many varieties of figs and I am not sure what kind of figs my in laws have but I was lucky enough to receive tons and tons of figs this year from their tree. They are greenish on the outside with pink flesh inside. We had fun picking them before the birds get to them. I made several jars of preserves to keep and to give away.

Fig Preserves Recipe

Makes 3-4, 8 oz jars

Prep time 35-40 minutes
Cook time about 1 1/2 hour
  • 8 Cups whole fresh figs
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 1tsp minced ginger or powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • Zest and juice from 1 Lemon
  • Hot tap water

  • Dissolve the baking soda in hot tap water, and gently stir to wash the figs in it.
  • Then rinse the figs thoroughly with fresh cool water. 
  • Slice figs in half. (leave whole for whole fig preserves)
  • In a large stock or canning pot, combine figs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, ginger and 1 cup hot tap water bring to a boil stirring frequently. ( I used a Dutch oven)
  • Note: if using whole fruit gently stir in order no to break fruit.
  •  Reduce heat and continue cooking until mixture is thick and gooey. (about an hour)
  • I also cut the figs more while they are still in the pot with shears towards the end to get smaller pieces.
  • Add cinnamon and vanilla in the last 20 min of cooking.
  • Watch closely in the last few minutes to keep bottom from burning
  •  Fill sterilized jars with hot preserves leaving 1/4 inch head space and cover with clean tops and rims cook in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Follow manufacturer's canning instructions for more details in canning. 
  • Open jars can be kept up to a month in the refrigerator.

The fun part now that I have all the preserves in the jars is to decorate and give them as gifts. These make great gifts and many people love fig jam. I used brown paper, some pretty scrap booking paper and bakers twine to decorate the jars. My daughter helped me with the decorating part and we had a great time.

I enjoy my preserves on a piece of toasted crusty rustic bread with some mascarpone or cream cheese. It should be yummy on a bagel or on an english muffin as well. How about on pizza with some goat cheese? I will have to try that soon.

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