I thought I wouldn’t be canning until later this summer, but yesterday I had a surprise. There were figs on the discount cart at the grocery store, 3 packages of them for 99 cents each. I didn’t even realize they had any in stock yet, so I pounced.
Figs tend to be expensive in Canada. They don’t grow here (at least not commercially) and they’re fragile, so shipping them when they’re ripe is an expensive process. They’re invariably past their prime when available, and really, it’s only in recent years that they’ve been available at all. I have one canning recipe that I love and last year it cost a bomb to put down – it requires three pounds of figs and makes four half-pint jars. It’s not a jam or a conserve, but simply roasted figs with lemons. It’s divine and I love it with a cheese course. Mr. Math wanted me to try it as the jam layer of a trifle which is an excellent idea, but I didn’t get to it last Christmas. Maybe this year.
So, yesterday when I saw 3 lbs of figs for roughly $2.99, I was in. I think these were Black Mission figs and I suspect they were from California. They’re deep purple on the outside and shades of pink on the inside. They certainly were ripe, but not appreciably different from the figs I bought at a much higher price last year. Last night, I roasted and canned them. They are lovely. 🙂
The base recipe is from a book called Canning for A New Generation by Liana Krissoff, and is called Slow-Roasted Fig Preserves with Lemon. The figs are cut up and roasted in the oven with lemon, some sugar and water for nearly four hours. At the end, I broke with the recipe and added a good shot of vanilla extract and some cinnamon. I ladled the hot figs into 1/2 pint jars and canned them in a boiling water bath – not for the five minutes recommended in the book but a good 20 mins. (Mr. Math also has a degree in biology. We like our microorganisms thoroughly dead.)
Unfortunately (ha) there was a partial jar that will have to be eaten soon. I don’t think there’s any worry of it going to waste.
Do you preserve figs?