Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins
Figs were probably one of the first fruits to be dried and stored by man. Figs offer a power-house of nutrition; a combination of fiber, minerals, and nutrients that are unequaled by other fruits in nature. They were brought to the New World by the Spanish missionary fathers. This recipe is from the Southwest chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago, 1947. Preparation time is approximate.
- 6 quarts figs
- baking soda (one cup)
- 1 gallon water, boiling
- cold water
- 1 lemon, sliced (optional)
- 1 orange, sliced (optional)
- lemon juice (use the bottled kind)
- 2 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 5 1⁄4 cups water
- For the syrup: Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Select figs of uniform size and ripeness.
- Without removing the skins, plung figs into a bath made by adding baking soda to boiling water.
- Allow the figs to stand in the soda bath from five to ten minutes, depending on the weight of the skin.
- When the skins of the figs become slightly transparent, remove to a bath of cold water and rinse thoroughly.
- Add fruit to syrup and bring to a gentle boil.
- When the figs can be easily pierced with a toothpick or skewer, and the skins look clear and translucent, pack the fruit loosely into sterilized jars, filling any remaining spaces with the hot syrup.
- Add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to each quart or 1 tablespoon if you're canning in pints.
- A slice of lemon and a slice of orange may be added to each jar, if desired.
- Remove trapped air bubbles by sliding a non-metallic spatula around the inside of the jar walls.
- If needed, add more liquid, leaving 1/2" headspace.
- Wipe the jar rim with a clean, dampened paper towel to remove any food particles.
- Place prepared lids on jars and secure with metal ringbands following manufacturer's recommendations.
- Process in boiling water bath for 25 minutes, adding boiling water as needed during the processing.
- When processing is complete, remove canner lid and use a jar lifter to remove jars and place them on a rack, dry towel, or newspaper.
- Allow the jars to cool, undisturbed, away from drafts for 12 to 24 hours.
- To check the seal, listen for the familiar "ping" and look for the slight depression in the lid's center.
- Remove the ringbands, wipe jars with a damp cloth, and add labels.
- Store in a cool, dry, dark place.