Intro: Drunken Fig Preserves
My Dad is a fig FANATIC. And this is probably an understatement. His yard of more than 50 trees encompasses 21 varieties of fig trees, each one with a distinct flavor, sweetness, and personality.
Each year I am lucky enough to be able to gorge my belly full of these delectable treats, but a human can only eat so many! So we have started canning the rest into tantalizing Drunken Fig Preserves. We sell them at the local Farmer's Market, and also gift them to friends.
In this process, from planting to harvesting to preserving, the entire family gets involved. Everyone helps out with the digging and tilling of the soil, picking of the hundreds of figs before the vermin get to them, and canning of the preserves.
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A few varieties of figs below with descriptions. My dad gets all his fig seeds from the USDA seed bank. Apparently, you shouldn't always trust whatever you buy from your local nursery.
www.figs4fun.com is a good resource for fig fanatics.
Step 1: Supplies and Materials
- 10 cups of figs
- 3.5 cups of brown sugar
- 2 lemon/orange peels
- 0.25 cups orange juice
- 1 package of fruit pectin
- 0.75 cup brandy (it's what gets the preserves inebriated!)
- 10 mason jars
Step 2: Step 1: Quarter the Figs
First half; then half that half. Repeat with each fig.
Step 3: Step 2: Mix Ingredients
- Mix all the ingredients (save the brandy) in a large pot.
- Let it sit for 1 hour, then slowly heat the pot to a boil.
- Boil for 10-15 minutes, stirring ever so slowly- if you stir too hard, it will break up the fig quarters into mush!
- While it is cooling, add the brandy (if you add it while it is boiling, the "drunken" part of the preserves will not be so drunk).
Step 4: Step 3: Canning
- Sterilize the jars and lids. There are a couple of ways people usually do this- either microwave, boil, or steam the jars. We steam them for 10 minutes or so until ready to use.
- Ladle your preserves into the mason jars, and tightly secure the lids.
- Let them cool to room temperature.
Step 5: Step 4: to Share or Not to Share
You may experience sudden selfish urges as you enjoy your drunken fig preserves on toast, waffles, pancakes, ice-cream or just by itself!
But it is always nice to share.
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