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?

8 thoughts on “Figs

  1. Interesting! I never thought of figs with lemon. My neighbor has a few fig trees (I live in Florida) and every time it fruits I end up with bags of figs. They are a golden yellow skin with pinkish gold interiors. Very sweet and juicy. Last year I made potted jam and used some as a filling layer for an orange cake. (I usually use raspberry for the filling). I then glazed the cake instead of frosting. It made an awesome coffee cake.


  2. I preserve many things, some I grow some I buy at the farmers market but I never thought of figs and I love them and use them in baking quick breads


  3. Figs! That made me read this fast. I just finished with nectarines and then apricots. I’ve one tree each in my backyard. I beat the birds and squirrels. I just love fruit. I put some up in the freezer, washing, pitting, adding some lemon juice to keep from darkening and then filled the Ziploc quart bag with apple juice. These will come out in the winter when the fruit isn’t available. Next in the backyard are the peaches. They aren’t ripe, yet.

    But my fig tree. Deb, I die for them. They are the kind you spoke of. They aren’t ripe yet either, however we did pull off three or four about 3 weeks ago. This fruit tree bears fruit twice a year. One load is in August and another will happen in November. I love to eat them fresh, but as you say, they are very fragile so don’t last a long time. I’m certainly interested in hearing about some ways to preserve figs from you and your readers.


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