Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Canning Fig Preserves

 Canning Fig Preserves

Figs, plump and naturally sweet are one of my favorite fruits to preserve.  I used Totato, Mission and Turkish figs this year and found the combination delivered a superbly flavored preserve with a round velvety texture.  I opted to forgo the pectin since figs are loaded with it naturally. 

Pectin is used in canning jams, jelly's and preserves and acts as a thickening agent.  Mainly extracted from citrus fruits then reduced into powder form.  It can also be purchased in a condensed liquid form and used for canning in the same manner as powder pectin.  I used less water in the recipe and reduced the mixture down by almost half, so there was no need to add pectin.

I've also been reading up on food photography and investing in a few items to help control the light, while reading my camera's owners manual to get the best possible settings for the shot. I've found that I need a better lens to capture a crisper/sharper image, up close or in macro setting.  I'll be saving my pennies while I begin my search for a higher quality camera and lens. In the meantime, I'll be doing my best to take a higher quality photo with the camera I'm currently using.

Fig Preserves Recipe 
Makes 5-6, 8 ounce jars
prep time 35-40 minutes

8 cups whole fresh figs
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon minced ginger
zest from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 cups hot tap water


  • Dissolve the baking soda in about 2 quarts hot tap water, and immerse the figs in the treated water in a large bowl. Gently stir to wash the figs, then drain off the water and rinse the figs thoroughly with fresh cool water.  
  • Slice figs in half, if you prefer a whole fruit preserve, skip this step
  • In a large stock or canning pot, combine figs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, ginger and 1 cup hot tap water
  • bring to a boil stirring frequently, if using whole fruit gently stir in order no to break fruit
  • reduce heat and continue cooking until mixture is thick and gooey.  Watch closely in the last few minutes to keep bottom from burning
  • fill sterilized jars with hot preserves leaving 1/4 inch head space and cover with clean tops and rims
  • cook in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  
  • Follow links for detailed canning instruction.
Open jars can be kept up to 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.  Spread a generous helping of fig preserves onto a crusty French bread and savor the flavor!

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  1. I love figs but have never made fig preserves - go figure. ;-) Sounds terrific! Photography is all about light, so figuring out how to control it is really important (cameras do kind matter - lens more - but if you don't have decent light it doesn't matter what camera you have). Anyway, really enjoyable post - thank you.

  2. Hi Kitchen Riffs! Thanks for the camera advice. I've been very luck in the past having great natural lighting in all of my homes. I really like a lot of windows. The first photo in this post is the second to be accepted by Foodgawker! I was thrilled as I've submitted 20 of my best shots and only 2 have been accepted. Have an awesome weekend and enjoy some fresh figs they are delicious right now!

  3. Can I replace the lemon juice using a calamansi juice? Or even the baking soda using cornstarch? I've been trying to make an immune boosting recipes because I've been diagnosed of having a zinc deficient body. So I've read an article from mercola that having a zinc deficiency may weaken my immune system and I must consume zinc rich foods. Do you have recipe having a zinc-rich content?

  4. Hi Narda, I'm sorry to hear of your zinc deficiency. Of course you can substitute calamansi juice in the recipe. The natural sour flavor is similar to the American lemon or lime but the calamansi has a slight tangerine flavor. I think calamansi juice would be a delightful addition to the recipe As for foods rich in zinc: oysters provide 16-182mg of zinc per 100g serving and are the highest on the food chain of zinc rich foods. Wheat germ, veal liver, low fat beef, pumpkin and squash seeds as well as peanuts are listed in the top 10 zinc rich foods. Alaskan crab has a high zinc content and is one of my favorite foods! I roast pumpkin seeds each year during Halloween with the seeds left over from my children's pumpkin carving. Fall is also a nice time to roast acorn, butternut and other varieties of squash resulting in a delicious main course or side dish. I bake squash at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes with a little butter and brown sugar. Reserve the seeds and roast them as you would pumpkin seeds. I have a post with recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds and the same can be used for any variety of seeds. If the salt content is too high for you just reduce the amount by half. At the top right side of my blog there is a Search This Blog button. Type in pumpkin seeds and you will be directed to the recipe.

    You can add wheat germ to any food just by sprinkling a tablespoon over your main dish or salads. It taste great in yogurt as well as hot cereals. Your meat selection is not only high in zinc but filled with protein which has been associated with stamina and strength. I'm not an expert or a dietitian but know these foods to contain higher amounts of zinc. I hope this helps as you look for ways to boost your immune system in your daily food consumption. Thank you for visiting my blog!!

  5. Hi Rebecka,
    Your fig preserves looks absolutely irresistible! And you use three different variety of figs is simply super! The different figs must have given different distinctive tastes of each! Figs are not easily available here. I'm so jealous!! Hehe!
    Have a great week!


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