Thanks to Facebook peer pressure I quickly went from, “Dude, canning is for the Amish” to- well, see above. In my defense I have a fig tree and what else am I supposed to do? After posting that I was thinking about doing fig preserves, my grandmother emailed me this:
I really don’t have a recipe but this is the way my friends and I make fig preserves.
2 quarts of figs
5 cups of sugar
Wash figs and take stems off. Put in pan and cover with 5 cups white sugar. Let sit overnight.
The next morning let them cook on low heat for about 2 hours.
Put hot figs into hot sterilized jars and put them in the jars. Seal. When you hear a popping sound you will know they are sealed.
I don’t add water. There’s enough water in the figs. Also you can turn off the heat if you get interrupted and cook them more later. I usually take a spoonful out and let cool and see if they taste the way I want them to.
I thought that sounded like a lot of sugar, and I was intrigued by the Lee Brothers’ recipe which called for a lot less sugar and lemon and ginger. But their recipe only kept in the fridge for a few weeks, and did I mention we have a fig tree? In the end, after researching just how little sugar I could use (figs are a low acid fruit and so you need the sugar), I fiddled around and came up with this recipe.
- 2 quarts figs
- 3 cups sugar
- one and a half lemon, sliced paper thin, seeds removed
- inch of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
Pour the sugar over the figs and let sit (covered) for a few hours. Turn on heat to low and cook. The figs DO release a ton of water and when that happens add the lemon and ginger. Cook for a couple of hours until fairly thick. (Meanwhile, sterilize your jars and lids and keep the jars in a low oven in a hot water bath.) Use a sterilized ladle to pour preserves through a sterilized wide mouth funnel (I freaking LOVE the one I got in my little canning kit at Lowe’s, thanks for the tip, Kate) into the jars and close. I know Teri flies in the face of danger, but I put the jars into a stockpot of boiling water for 10 minutes after, too.
Then all that is left is to save the leftover syrup to pour over toast, put on some cute labels and you’re done. (This recipe should yield 5 1/2 pints of preserves- I had two big pots going at once, so I made a double recipe for 10 1/2 pints. I have a fig tree, people.)