Thursday, June 28, 2012

Granny's Fig Preserves

As promised: how to preserve figs. Perfected by Granny, my mom's mom. She loved to garden and grew a beautiful, thriving fig tree behind her old house.

Jars of Goodness
The tree from her backyard has given new life to numerous others. And the family still picks and preserves them every year.

Fig preserves are delicious on toast, biscuits, french toast, pancakes, waffles, and a wide variety of other breakfast goodies. But, it is also amazing with savory dishes. Use the liquid to glaze a pork loin or try out my recipe for Fig and Prosciutto Pizza

Ingredients
  • 18 pints fresh figs
  • 20 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • special equipment: 2 12-16 quart metal or stainless steel pots, 5-6 quart-size jars with new lids and screw caps, large-mouthed funnel, large metal ladle

Directions
Stemming the Figs
  1. Wash and stem the fresh figs.
  2. Combine the figs, sugar, and 1/2 cup of water in a 12-16 quart pot.
  3. Cook on medium high heat until sugar dissolves. Stir frequently.
  4. Continue to cook on medium to medium-high heat for 2 1/2-3 hours until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature). Stir occasionally.
  5. Starting the Cooking Process
  6. In the meantime, sanitize the jars. Place the quart-size jars, lids, covers, and funnel into a tall 12-16 quart pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the tops of the jars.  
  7. Boil the jars on high heat for approximately 15-20 minutes.
  8. Using tongs, remove a jar and the funnel from the boiling water.
  9. Carefully ladle the fig mixture into the jar. Leave one inch of space at the top of the container.
  10. Place a sanitized cover and lid on the jar and screw tightly.
  11. Sealing Inverted Jars
  12. Continue to fill the remaining jars in the same manner.
  13. After filling each container and securing each lid, invert each jar and return it to the hot water in the sanitation pot.
  14. Boil for an additional 10 minutes to seal the jars.
  15. Carefully remove the inverted jars and allow them to cool.
  16. If the fig preserves are sealed properlythe lids will pop as the suction contracts the lids slightly into the jars.
Granny and high school me . . . OH yeah

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