21 Easy Steps to Making Fig Preserves

When I was a little kid visiting my grandparents in the South Alabama town called Loxely, I recall moments in the laundry room looking up at all the canned foods my grandmother prepared. They lined the shelves with a range of colors from each of the different fruits and vegetables that my grandfather picked from the gardens. One of my favorite activities was to go out in the yard and pick fresh figs. I enjoyed that natural sweet snack and along with that there was a time for breakfast where I would spread my favorite preserves onto my toast. I would like to share with you this memory with a step-by-step instruction on how to make Fig Preserves. It’s not very difficult and I’m sure you will enjoy this delicious snack. You will need to allow yourself up to 2 hours to make it and a chair or a little helper if you can’t stand for long periods at the stove for stirring.

Preparations

Tools/Materials

  • Jar lifter
  • Canning funnel
  • 12, 8-oz canning jelly jars

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs figs, unpeeled
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced thin

Let’s begin

Directions:

  1. Run your glass jars through the dishwasher to help sterilize them.
  2. Rinse figs in cold water.
  3. Soak figs for about 20 minutes in a large bowl.
  4. Make a sugary syrup by boiling water and stirring in sugar together in a large saucepan. Keep stirring to prevent the sugar from burning for about 15 minutes.
  5. When the syrup is clear and thick, add figs and lemon slices.
  6. Bring to boil over high heat and boil for 1 minute.
  7. Lower heat and then simmer for 20-25 minutes. Continue to stir.
    Cooking the figs in the sugary syrup
    Cooking the figs in the sugary syrup
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Carefully scoop up the clumpy fig pieces and lemon slices and place into a food processor or blender and pulse chop the pieces into a pulp.
    Chopping the figs in the Cuisinart food processor
    Chopping the figs in the Cuisinart food processor
  10. Return the pulp back into the saucepan that contains the redish syrupy mixture.
  11. Bring to a boil and then turn to a low heat.
  12. Stir for 40 minutes or until you’ve reached a desired thick consistency.
    Simmering the fig preserves until desired thickness
    Simmering the fig preserves until desired thickness
  13. Place glass jars into a large saucepan filled with water and bring to a boil for a few minutes.
    Sterilizing the jars in boiling water
    Sterilizing the jars in boiling water
  14. Place canning lids in a small saucepan filled with water and heat to a low boil.
    Sterilizing the jar lids in boiling water
    Sterilizing the jar lids in boiling water
  15. Remove a few jars and place on a towel.
  16. Place funnel over a jar and then carefully ladle the pulp to fill the jar.
    Filling the fresh fig preserves pulp into the jars
    Filling the fresh fig preserves pulp into the jars
  17. Clean the top edge of the jar with a towel.
  18. Cover jars with the canning lids and loosely screw the retainer ring onto the jar. Do not tighten.
  19. Carefully place the jars into a saucepan covered completely with boiling water for 10 minutes. (you may use the saucepan that you boiled the jars in earlier).
  20. Repeat steps 15-19 until all the jars have been filled. (you might be able to do this with 9 jars at a time depending on how large the saucepan is in step 18).
    Boiling the air out of the pulp filled jars
    Boiling the air out of the pulp filled jars
  21. Remove the jars from the water and place on a towel. After about a minute, you will hear a pop sound of the lids sucking into place as the jars cool.
    Lifting the jars from the water
    Lifting the jars from the water
    Jars cooling after hearing the popping sound in the lids
    Jars cooling after hearing the popping sound in the lids


  • Don’t tighten the retainer rings, otherwise you could break the seal.

*A special thanks to my mom for finding this recipe and for the necessary recipe modifications to make the perfect fig preserves. She did all the work in the above photos. All I did was stir when she couldn’t stand for long periods of time.

Figs (ficus)

figs
Sweet Juicy Figs

Fig Fact: Did you know that figs are not only fruit, but also flowers? How can this be?

Some of these trees are self-pollinating and others require a very tiny wasp. It enters through a little hole (the mouth) at the end of the fruit. Read more