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How to Preserve Figs

A good year for figs

2013 has turned out to be a good year for figs at the Villas, making up for the fact that our five year old tree tree only offered us a somewhat-less-than-grand total of just three fruit last year!

Figs freshly harvested

Due to the fact that the fruit all reached ripeness at roughly the same time I decided even I couldn’t eat that many in one sitting, so I started to consider ways to preserve them. Jam was the first thing that sprung to mind so I emailed Laila to ask whether she knew of any good fig recipes.

She got back back to me within the hour with a recipe for figpote that is in River Cottage’s very own queen of jams and preserves Pam the Jam’s jam making bible (Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No.2.) What I particularly liked about the recipe is that it contains no added sugar – the sweetness mainly being derived from honey …and of course from the figs themselves!

Pam’s Recipe for Figpote

Makes two 250ml jars

12 figs (not too big)
150 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
450 ml Earl Grey or green tea
125 g honey

Preheat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1 and put your sterilized jars inside to heat.

Wash the figs and remove any hard, twiggy bits of stalk – but do not cut right back to the flesh, as this risks splitting the skin.

Put the orange juice, tea and honey into a pan and gently heat to simmering point to make a syrup. Add the figs and cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender.

Using a slotted spoon, take out the figs and carefully pack them into the hot jars. It may be a bit of a squash, but figs quite like this.

Return the filled jam jars to the oven to keep warm – it is important to keep the jars as hot as possible to create a successful seal.

Bring the fruit syrup to the boil and boil for 6 to 7 minutes to reduce it in volume (I actually had to boil it for quite a lot longer than that) .

Fig syrup reducing for preserving figs

Stand the jars on a wooden surface or some newspaper and pour the hot syrup over the figs, filling the jars to the brim.

Seal immediately with lids, clips or screw-bands, leave undisturbed for 24 hours, then check the seal is secure.

Use within a year.

Preserving Figs

Our favourite way to enjoy figpote is served on vanilla ice cream, drizzled with some of the syrup and served with a sprig of fresh mint – delicious.

Thanks Pam!

2 thoughts on “How to Preserve Figs

  1. An interesting recipe – Thanks!
    My Mother-in-law used to make fig perserves – They were so sweet they would just about kill you. I like that this recipe uses honey. Our figs are gone this year, but I’ll try it next year.
    Have a beautiful day!
    Lea’s Menagerie
    Lea recently posted…Bales of Hay September 3-4, 2013My Profile

    1. Thanks for your comments Lea. Our figs are finished now too – all except one which I am saving for my mum who is a massive fan! It needs another day or two though before it’s perfectly ripe…

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