Pickled figs?? I wrinkled my nose as I imagined figs floating in a mouth-puckering vinegar brine.
“Oh gosh,” she continued, “they taste just like Christmas in a jar.” She swooned at the thought of them melting in her mouth, and went on the describe their sweet, cinnamon-clove flavor.
Intrigued, I asked her if she might share the recipe, which she gladly emailed me a few days later.
Although our fig trees were still too immature to bear fruit, my mother-in-law had a good harvest that year, and kindly shared some of her fresh, delicious figs with me. I only had enough of the fruit to make one jar of pickled figs, but one jar was all it took to get me hooked.
Unfortunately for us, this was not a good year for figs so I’ve only had a handful to enjoy. If next year provides a good harvest, this will be the first thing I make with them.
I don’t have a photo of the finished product for you, since my children devoured that one sacred jar I made. Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to update with a photo tutorial. For now, here’s the recipe for you to try.
This is a process- it will take a few days before they’re ready to can. Be patient. It’s worth every bit of the effort!
Pickled Figs Recipe for Canning
(I think this makes approx. 6 pints. I may be off on that, since I had to reduce the recipe when I made it. Let me know what you end up with if you try it.)
3 quarts firm figs
1/2 cup baking soda
2 quarts boiling water
1 cup cold water
1 cup cider vinegar
2 or 3 sticks of cinnamon
3 Tablespoons whole cloves
6 cups sugar
Wash figs and pat dry. (I like to cut them in half to make sure there isn’t a worm in the middle.)
1st Day: Place the figs in a large pot, and sprinkle the baking soda over them. Add boiling water and let stand 5 mins. Drain. Take figs out and wash soda out of pot. (I put my figs in a colander and lightly rinsed them even though the recipe did not call for it.)
In the same pot, make a syrup of 1 cup cold water, 6 cups sugar and 1 cup cider vinegar; over med. heat. Tie spices in a cheesecloth or jelly bag. After sugar has melted and the syrup comes to gentle boil, add spices and figs; stir. Boil for 10 mins., covered; stir to keep from burning. Remove from heat and cover. (I left the pot on the stove overnight, though you may put in fridge.)
2nd day: Bring figs in syrup to a gentle boil for 10 mins., covered. Remove from heat and cover.
3rd day: Gently boil again for 10 mins. covered. Pack into hot pint jars, leaving 1/2 in. headspace. Remove air bubbles, and screw previously boiled lids on. Process in boiling water bath for 15 mins.
*NOTE: This is a hand-me-down kinda recipe. For a more “official” Pickled Figs recipe, I found one at the National Center for Home Food Preservation. It looks very similar to this one, I imagine it’s just as good. It also looks easier to make.
These figs truly are DELICIOUS! Do try them.