Nov 26, 2016
central NC
The ancients wrote poetry and sang songs about figs. Buddha attained enlightenment while sitting under a fig tree. And fig trees are one of the first plants mentioned in the Bible, as well as the subject of more than one Biblical parable.

Figs are plentiful in the South and for us it’s all about the preserved fig. We don’t make fig jam. We preserve our figs whole in a syrup flavored with paper-thin slices of lemon and ginger. Most Southerners will tell you there is no pleasure greater than eating a hot buttermilk biscuit with butter and perfect syrupy fig.

In coastal North Carolina, folks make fig cobblers and fig ice cream. The fig cake (akin to jam cake) is quite popular on Ocracoke Island. It is typically made into a Bundt cake with cream-cheese frosting.

Old-Fashioned Whole-Fig Preserves
You can use any variety of figs to make these whole-fig preserves, but traditionally they are made with Brown Turkey and Celeste varieties.

Ingredients: (yields 5 to 6 half-pint jars)
8 cups small, firm but ripe figs
2 cups sugar
1-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small lemon, thinly sliced
Lemon juice
1 cup of water

In a wide, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive pot, layer the figs with the lemon slices, sugar, sliced ginger, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

The next day, add the cup of water and cover the pot with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil. Bring the figs to a simmer over medium heat. Turn the figs down to low and cook covered for 1 hour.

After the figs have cooked covered for 1 hour, vent the lid and cook for another half hour with the lid vented (half-on) or until the figs are translucent and the syrup has thickened.

Transfer the figs to sterilized jars and refrigerate or process for 5 minutes in a water-bath canner to store on the shelf.

I think you might like this @donna.

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Sergeant Major
Oct 26, 2016
Here's one from my UDC cookbook too!

Fig Preserves
Gather firm figs with stems. Scrape off outer brown skin beginning at the stem and scraping towards you; scrape stem also. Weigh and wash fruit, but do not let it remain in water. Weigh and equal amount of sugar. Add 3/4 cup water for each pound sugar. Boil syrup for 20 minutes, skim frequently, add figs and boil rapidly. After boiling 10 minutes, add two lemons sliced with seeds and yellow rind but not white rind removed. When figs are done, remove and place in sun, on dishes until syrup is almost as thick as honey. Add fruit let boil and pour immediately into jars and seal. f you want beautiful preserves, cook only 10 or 12 pounds or about a peck at each cooking.

Interesting! I would say, this method is not for the beginner! Takes a few steps and some knowledge of preserving or one could really bunk it up!

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