Saturday, August 13, 2011

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

We're making Fig Preserves!

Our Friends Lil and Ben came for a visit last weekend, and brought some lovely figs and blackberries and raspberries from their home garden.   When they got here on Friday, we started getting the figs into their sugar-soak so they could create all that luscious syrup in the fridge overnight.    A bobbing wash in the big pan, a nip of the little stem, then just a finger-pinch to pull them open and crush them just a bit.

Sugar on, ready to stir in.   A drop of the wonderful new vanilla they brought me from Mexico, and a couple of wisps of lemon peel, paper thin and fragrant.

Ready for their sleep,



A long gentle simmer on Saturday morning, til they were thick and bluppy in the pan, with a gleam like spun candy:



The finished figs---I think there were more than a dozen jars.  I turn all canned goods upside down to cool, especially things which don’t go into a water-bath for processing.   The boiling syrup or jam or jelly insures sterilization of the jar, and flipping it at once scalds the bare space at the top and inside of the lid.  Don’t be dismayed by the “head-space” gap---when the jars taper, the half-inch left at the top looks like much more when flipped.



I missed getting pictures of the putting-into-jars and of the handy little green insert they have for the water-bath.  It’s like Silpat, I think, able to withstand all the high temperatures, fits into any pasta pot, and holds six halfpints neatly through their boiling.   It has little  detachable handles, (and got left IN the drained pot after the last batch, which is one of the reasons they’re coming back by today).

Chris saw the finished-with pot, just sitting on that huge cast-iron stove, still gleaming with heat, so he dumped the hot water and set the pot back in its place.   How we missed that neon-green little insert is beyond me---it's vibrant and BRIGHT, and if I canned any more, I'd certainly want one.


Len made five big loaves of Zucchini-Blueberry Bread before we went out for the afternoon,  and we came home and canned a batch of Preserved Figs (a different method and product) after we went to dinner.

Moiré non on figs, bread, meals together, visiting.


6 comments:

Mo..."Mo's Cottage" said...

Hi Racheld,
My grandmother had a fig tree in her yard when I was growning up...what you can do with figs is amazing....Thank You for taking be back to my childhood for a moment.....
Hugs,
Mo :-)

mississippi artist said...

I have already done my fig preserves, ours came in the last of July.Your recipe is different than mine, I have never heard of a sugar bath-would love to have your recipe to try. My mouth is watering for a fresh biscuit and some preserves!

Beverly said...

Rachel, my husband will be knocking at your door very soon. He is a very nice guy, so it is okay to let him in the house. He loves, loves, loves fig preserves.♥

racheld said...

How lovely to hear from fellow fig-lovers everywhere!

MA: the dry sugar (lots of it---Mammaw always said preserves should be made Payound for Payound with sugar) is stirred in the night before, so as to release all those figgy juices to cooi up thick and sweet.

Beverly:

I have no doubt whatever about any relative or anyone else you recommend. I'd LOVE him to have some---and if you have access to any figs at all, you can do what I've been doing for the past ten years or so:

Wash, stem, and kinda smush with your fingers. Stir in about the same weight of sugar, a little lemon zest, a drop of vanilla.

Put in fridge overnight, and they should have made some visible juices standing. Then next a.m., cook slowly and gently, perhaps an hour, til thick, (stir with flat paddle or egg turner) and you should still have lots of lumps of fig left.

Store in fridge in Tupperware forever, or, in your case, til Tuesday, cause they'll all be gone.

PS I also haven't made a REAL biscuit in a coupla years. Pillsbury Southern-style in the freezer section---you can take out as many as you need and re-seal the rest.

Kim Shook said...

I am drooling at the thought of fig preserves! I keep seeing them at Costco and knowing that I don't have the time to deal with them. Another retirement project!

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