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Fig Preserves

The lush sweetness of the figs shines through in this simple recipe. Any variety will work here. Dark-skinned figs produce an almost purple syrup; green Adriatic figs yield a pale syrup. For some spice, add a pinch of star anise. Quarter the figs and serve on crostini with goat cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. figs, such as Mission, Adriatic or Brown Turkey
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Grated zest of 1 orange

Directions:

Have ready 5 hot, sterilized half-pint jars and their lids.

Trim the fig stems, leaving a little of the stem attached to each fig. In a large nonreactive saucepan, combine the sugar, orange juice and lemon juices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the figs, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring gently, for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a bowl. Add the orange zest to the syrup and cook, uncovered, until reduced by one-third, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the figs to the pan and cook for 1 minute to heat through.

Using the slotted spoon, divide the hot figs evenly among the jars. Ladle the syrup over the figs, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.

Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes 5 half-pint jars.

Adapted from The Art of Preserving, by Lisa Atwood, Rebecca Courchesne & Rick Field (Weldon Owen, 2010).