Preserving Figs

Preserving figs is a way to ensure there are plenty of figs to eat in the winter months when there is not access to fresh figs.  
At Boca Family Micro Farm, picking figs this time of year is a daily duty; sometimes we pick them twice a day.  We are always careful to wear protective clothing due to sap allergies and rough leathery leaves. Always be aware of your surroundings; snakes love fig trees. 
Preserving figs is pretty simple, but time consuming. It’s important to be prepared and set aside some time.

 

Here’s what you will need : (It’s good to double it up if you can and have enough figs)

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 5 cups fresh figs, stems removed- keep whole and in tact
  • 1 cup water
  • 1  1/2 cups white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon of chopped candied ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger or fresh grated ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoons of orange zest

Directions

Before you begin, dissolve the baking soda in about 2 quarts of cool water and immerse the figs in the treated water in a large bowl. Gently stir to wash the figs, drain off the water, and rinse the figs thoroughly with fresh cool water. 

After thoroughly rinsing figs, the stems should be removed and then placed gently into a large pot.  After I took this photo, I ended up changing the pot to a larger one to avoid hot syrup splattering on me.

Add 1 cup water, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Add chopped oranges, orange zest, and chopped candied ginger.

Very gently stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar, keeping the figs intact as much as possible. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to a simmer, cook until the figs are golden brown, and coated in syrup, for about an hour. Stir gently a couple of times to keep the figs from burning on the bottom of the pot. If desired, add a pinch of salt to tame the sweetness.

Meanwhile, sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for 10 full minutes. You may do this in boiling water or the dishwasher on a full cycle.

Pack the figs into the hot, sterilized jars and top off with syrup, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids and screw on rings to only a fingertip tightness. You don’t want to over tighten the lids or you will not have a good seal and it may end up a mess.

Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot, fill halfway with water, bring to a boil over high heat, and then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. If necessary, pour in more boiling water  until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10-15 minutes depending on your altitude.

IMG_6303Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface several inches apart until they cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store the jars in a cool, dark area and wait at least two days before opening.

Until next time,

Keep it Local & Keep it Real Y’All,

The Texas Chick

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Me & the hubby “Farmer Rob”

See our blog for more on figs: fig jam, dehydrating figs, and how to care for and grow figs.

bocamicrofarm.com/2016/07/23/oh-fig

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