Old-Fashioned Fig Preserves

Perfectly ripe fig

It’s that time of year again.  Time when figs are ripe and ready for making delicious, old-fashioned fig preserves.  This post/recipe originally appeared in July, 2008 and remains one of the most viewed posts on this blog.  Seems figs are ripe some time during the  year throughout the world!  

So, let’s get busy with some traditional fig preserves, shall we?  Some of you have already ventured out and made the mock strawberry and raspberry preserves with your treasured figs and are now ready to make some real, down-home fig preserves. If you’ve been looking for the best recipe,  look no more. Here is the best one I know of, and it comes from my Great-Grandmother, through my Grandmother, to my Mother, to me.

5 from 2 votes
Whole-Fig-Preserves
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Whole Fig Preserves
Author: Bayou Woman
Ingredients
  • 12 cups whole figs
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 4 slices lemon - seeds removed
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Wash figs in cool water.
  2. Remove stems.
  3. Boil a saucepan of water, gently place figs in and remove from heat.
  4. Let sit 3 minutes and then drain quickly.
  5. In heavy-bottomed pot, combine sugar and water and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly until it makes a clear syrup. Do not burn.
  6. Add lemon slices, and then gently place figs into boiling liquid.
  7. Lower heat to medium and cook figs for about 2.5 hours, or until figs seem soft.
  8. During the cooking process, swirl the pot to stir rather than using a spoon to keep from breaking the figs.
  9. Once figs are done cooking, place funnel on top of hot jar.
  10. Using a slotted spoon, gently fill hot jar with figs, slice of lemon, and then ladle hot syrup over figs, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
  11. Wipe edge with clean cloth, removing any syrup from rim that would prevent a solid seal. Now, put on a lid, then a band, and wearing an oven mitt or using a hot pad, screw the band on tight.
  12. Do one jar at a time until all the preserves are used.
  13. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

For those of you who like step-by-step with photos, please continue on!

PLEASE NOTE that this recipe takes a long time and you must watch your pot so you do not overcook the figs or the syrup. If you have your heat too high, you will get a “candied” result rather than a spreadable preserve.

Rinse your figs in the sink really well and then drain. Remove the stems.  Leave whole or cut in half–your choice.

Fig PreservesIn a large, heavy pot, add all the ingredients (lemon optional). Cook on low for several hours, about three, stirring occasionally so mixture does not stick or burn. DO NOT LEAVE POT UNATTENDED because burning happens quickly.

Hot fig preservesCook until very thick.

Ladle fig preservesLadle hot preserves into hot jars, using canning funnel and oven mitt so you do not burn your hand.

Hot lids and bandsMake sure your lids and bands are boiling hot!

Sealing hot jarsAfter filling jars, wipe the rims with clean cloth so lids will form tight seal.  Using oven mitt and hot pad, put the hots lids on the hot  jars and then tighten the bands.

Boiling water bathProcess in boiling “granny bath” for 10 minutes.  (Or preserves may be stored in fridge for up to one month without the bath.)

Fig Preserves PintsAnd there you have the most beautiful, tasty fig preserves this side of the bayou!

If you would like to cook large amounts, just remember that you use half the amount of sugar to figs.

Here’s to the incredible, edible fig!

BW

ORIGINALLY POSTED JULY 10, 2008

2009: This recipe has become the most-often viewed post on this whole blog, with over 8000 views.  I decided to make it again and  add the photos.  I hope they help you beginners, and please leave your comments as to how you like the recipe, and you might have adapted this recipe!

2010:  Just this week alone, this recipe has been viewed over 1500 times. It seems somewhere in the world at some time of the year, figs are ripe and people are looking for a good fig preserve recipe.  Hundreds of folks have tried this one and written back to say they LOVE it.

2011:  This recipe has been viewed 4026 times in the past week.  Who would have thought with all the wetland work I do, that a fig preserve recipe would have put this blog on the search engine maps?  Thank you, fig tree.

2012:Well, it’s that time of year again.  This post received 563 visits yesterday, so lots of folks are cooking figs.  They are about a month early down here, the ones in the top of the tree being taken greedily by birds and squirrels, laughing at me all the while, about two weeks ago.  This past winter, half the ancient tree died and broke off, and the remaining half seems to miss it. There aren’t as many figs this year as the past three years, and the arrangement I had with the squirrels and birds has been broken–by them!  When the figs were abundant, they agreed to only take figs from the top of the tree where I can’t reach; but now that the figs are not as thick, they have been stripping my figs right off the stems.  So today I was forced to pick my first half-gallon, although about half of them had not yet turned that beautiful “figgy” color.  Yet they were soft enough to pluck right off, and if I closed my eyes and imagined that I was biting into a ripe fig, then it was just so.  It’s otherwise a very busy time right now getting ready for the first Bayou Woman Adventure with six daring women who are scheduled to arrive Friday afternoon.  I hope to find the time to cook and can these figs before they arrive, but I still have so many things to do . . . . and I will take pics and post them up for you as soon as I can after they leave!   Excitement abounds!!!)

2013:  Here we are again, and it’s time for fig preserves.  The figs are right on time this year, as I am usually making preserves around the time of my birthday, which is tomorrow! Saturday I managed to pick 1 gallon of ripe figs, while the birds devoured at least as many.  The tree still only produces half of what it used to before half of it died in 2012.  Sunday I picked another gallon, and today I’m making the mock strawberry/raspberry, and I’m making this recipe, too. The mock preserves are already finished, with the lids satisfyingly pinging away. Music to my canning ears!!!  In the past few days, 1329 people have viewed this Old-fashioned Fig Preserve Recipe, which continues to bring me great joy!  Use it, share it, and come back and tell us how you and your family and friends enjoyed it!     Happy Summer!  BW

2014;  Looks like the early birds and squirrels get the figs!  I’m losing the battle, and just don’t have it in me to fight.  I went and bought a 14×14 net but without two ladders and another person, it shall sit in the package where it has been since I bought it.  Yes!  I admitted it!  I’m a fig failure, LOL!  I’ve been so busy anyway that I just don’t have time for these shenanigans!  So, enjoy your fig picking and preserve and chutney making for me.  I managed to eat one half-ripe off the tree this morning before it was snatched out of my hand by a possessive starling.  Happy summer!  BW

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Comments

Old-Fashioned Fig Preserves — 613 Comments

  1. Is that 4 cups of mashed figs in the recipe for the plain old fig preserves? thanks

    No, Debbie, you put them in WHOLE, as they will fall apart some as they cook. We like our figs to resemble figs, so we don’t mash these, ok? They turn into these beautifully, almost “candied” golden jewels that melt in your mouth when cooked correctly!

      • Diane, that seems to be the question of the summer. Initially, I think there was a typo which said “2 lemons sliced”. One lady followed that recipe and said it was BITTER. One women said she LOVED the candied lemons. So, I made it with only “2 lemon slices” and it was perfect. I would err on the side of less lemon and just use a few slices. Does that help you? Thanks for stopping by and please come back soon! BW

        • I am so excited to try your recipe. I wonder about the lemon…why is the lemon necessary and does it matter what variety i use? By the way, I am very new to this…

          • The lemon is NOT necessary — it is an added bonus to these preserves. It adds a little acidic balance to the preserve, plus some folks just love to eat the candied lemon rings. Also, they are so beautiful in the jar! Good luck and feel free to come here with your questions. Welcome to the world of canning! BW

          • Am also curious about the lemons. My Grandmother made wonderful fig preserves without lemons. Do you think your recipe would be just as good without them?

              • Hey, Bayou Woman !
                Do you know how I might make figs preserves with dried figs?
                FYI, my mom always make fig preserves with just the peel of a lemon.
                It got candid in the syrup, it was very tasty.

    • Hi and thanks for putting this recipe with the great pics online. I can’t wait to try these. I am a novice and have never made jams, jellies, or preserves and had a question for you.

      What exactly is a “granny bath”???

      Thanks again.
      Sue

      • Granny Bath is when you boil the filled jars in the big canning pot of water for the time that each recipe calls for. It is a very important step in home canning.

        • My county extension agent said to bathe them for at least 45 minutes to prevent botulism. I have never done a “granny bath” for even a minute and have been making this recipe for 50 years. My Aunt Cora used it 60 years before that (neither with lemon). We’ve never had a problem. And I just finished off a jar from 2005 (this is August 2013) which was chewy and tasty and better than wine. And I feel fine. As for lemon, the extension agent said that figs have no acid, and the lemon adds the acid it needs to prevent botulism. She said to put 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice in the bottom of every jar before I fill it. And the 45-minute bath. Not going to do either – it’s enough work as it is. And I’m not going to chance ruining the taste.

          • I would think after boiling for 45 minutes, the figs might resemble mush!!! I mean, golly, they DO continue to cook in those jars, right? I say we stick to the old ways because they worked. If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it, right? thanks for the sage input, Barbara, and come back any time! BW

            • I’m with the two of you — after cooking them down for 3 hours on low, I think you’ve killed any germs present. My mother even skipped the granny bath all together, and all four of us kids survived. I do water bath mine for 10 minutes (because the Extension Service and the Surgeon General have me paranoid), and I’ll add lemon juice for flavor since I have no lemons on hand. But 45 minutes seems like mega overkill…..thanks for the recipe! I hate figs, but the husband loves them. My trees are young and this is the first year I’ve scavenged enough from the birds to preserve. I think he will like these alot! 🙂

              • This is my first year attempting canning figs. My mom, maw-maw, and Old Mom all canned figs as long as I can remember and just the way you describe, minus lemon. My mom passed a few years ago on Mothers Day. We found what was left of her figs and cherished every bite. Some dated back to 2008. Our whole lives we’ve managed to survive the canning these loving Cajun women made for us (my mom had 14 of us) and they did it the same way you do. Take that Extension Service and Surgeon General! The only issue any of us ever had was “the rumbly tumbly” from eating to much of it at one time, if you know what I mean. I’m a little late in the game, but I’m doing everything I can to preserve the old ways of the Cajuns here in NC. I do have my moms fig cake recipe, if anyone is interested. Bon appetite!

              • Welcome, Leroy! Great hearing your traditions. Somewhere I think someone might have posted a fig cake recipe. I have one from my great aunt. Anyway, omit the lemon and make some fig preserves just like dear ole Mom used to make! Best of luck to you this summer while canning! BW

    • I LOVE fig preserves. The recipe is just like my mom’s minus the lemons. I never add lemon to mine. I love just the plain fig taste. Real fig preserves have the beautiful whole fig in them 🙂 Thanks for the recipe.

      Have you ever made kumquat preserves with the whole kumquat? They are so beautiful to give as gifts at Christmas time.

      • I have another recipe on here that is the whole figs, cooked gently and preserved whole. They are so beautiful and tasty. No, I have never done the kumquats, but I have a friend who has a tree. Maybe this year I will do some. Do you have a good recipe for that? I’d love to blog about it!!! BW

        • I do have shrinking of my green fig preserve today. Whats the problem? Seems not to suck up enough syrup. Help plse!!!!!

          • As I mentioned to another reader, I am not familiar with green fig preserves. So, I’m sorry that I can’t be much help with your problem. Maybe another reader could chime in?

      • I do not have a recipe for the kumquat preserves. I’ve only had them once, at a yacht club in Tampa, FL. I would imagine they are preserved the same way as figs. They are so beautiful in the jars, though and delicious!

    • It was very nice that Debbie took the time to show us all how she makes fig jam and your sarcasm is really unfair. A polite reply would have been much appreciated by many readers (including me) and especially to Debbie.

      • Hi Lisa, and welcome to the bayou. Your comment has me a little puzzled. I’m trying to see who made a sarcastic comment? Can you clarify for me? And I’m not sure when you say Debbie, if you are referring to me, the author, Bayou Woman. My name is Wendy and it’s nice to meet you! Come back any time! BW

    • Been raining all of July here in Alabama and there are plenty of figs. Love the buttered biscuits with figs in the mornings. Tha

    • About birds and figs…. I had a mockingbird that seemed to always get get up before me and eat the figs I thought would be ripe that day (the early bird gets the fig). Last year I bought bird netting – which I have used for 2 years. The birds are getting very few figs and the netting looks like it will last a few more years. BTW, last year the mockingbird sat in a tree nearby and scolded me for putting up the net!

    • Hi BW,
      I followed the recipe, however I only ended up with one jelly jar instead of 4. Any idea what I could have done wrong? It doesn’t seem too thick, but we’ll see in the morning when we have our taste test!
      Thanks for any feedback you can give! My husband has about 100 fig trees, so we’ll definitely give it another try tomorrow!

  2. Thank you BW,
    I’m humbled and honored that you posted this recipe for others to try. The result is so good and well worth the time. I hope someone will try your Mom’s/ my Grandma’s recipe!

    PS Please be sure and use the lemon–it’s almost the best part!!

    As a matter of fact, Debbie in the above comment is making the recipe this morning I think! And hopefully she will let us know how it turns out!

  3. I (finally) have no more figs to preserve this year. There are still a few hanging on out there, but I think those will just have to go from tree to mouth! I’ll have to save this recipe for next year.

    Well, you won and you haven’t emailed me about your prize!! I have a gift box full of Louisiana Fish Fry products to give you, but I don’t want to mail it—it would cost me more than it’s worth! Sad, huh?

  4. I made my first recipe(first ever) of plain fig preserves Wednesday. I cooked them for four hours until they were very thick. I pulled out a slice of the lemon let it cool and it was like eating candied lemon. Yum! The preserves turned out great. Very pretty color.
    I made a double batch yesterday and it came out a little bit too lemony. Next time I may use 3 lemons instead of 4. I did slice the figs in half and like the texture. The figs didn’t fall apart and I like the way it spreads on toast. I am going to pick again today and try making peach fig preserves tomorrow. I can’t find anyone I know who has tasted them, so I’ve decided the only way to find out is to make them. I’ll let you know. Can’t wait for the fig cake recipe.

    WONDERFUL REPORT, Debbie! About the peach: One of our readers here, Stephanie, tasted the peach and says it is not nearly as good as the strawberry/rapspberry. But if you try it PLEASE let us know how you liked it, ok? Thanks again for taking the time to come back and comment. I just love the candied lemon, too!

    • Peach/fig preserves are my absolute favorite 2nd only to the “just plain ole figs”. I am going to try a blueberry/fig with some of my fig bounty since I have about 2 cups of the last of my blueberries. I’ll let ya know how it goes.

  5. I need help. Can you freeze whole figs without syrup? If so, do I need to do something to them to keep them from changing color? I have made all the preserves I need and everyone else needs and I want to save some figs to make a fig cake and fig bread at Christmas time. Thanks!

    Hi Debbie. YES you can freeze figs. We put them whole into freezer bags. DO NOT WASH THEM or wet them or clean them in any fashion. They will freeze just like that for later use. However, I might have to go look up long-term freezing like you are talking about . That’s about 5 months. I’ll get back with you on that one, unless one of our readers has the answer.

    • As for freezing whole figs, don’t leave them any longer than 5 or 6 months. I left mine for a little over a year, and although the fig preserves TASTED alright, they were an ugly, gray color. Not worth it!

  6. I know this is a crazy question but I am such a novice at canning and preserving. Do you peel the lemon?
    Thank you very much for your help!

    Welcome to the bayou, Cindy. No, you need not peel the lemon. The rind is delicious cooked in the fig syrup!

  7. Found your site looking for a fig preserve recipe, and you sound delightful! Several years ago when my husband’s mother passed away in Texas someone brought a fig pie that was out-of-this-world! I’ve never found a recipe for fig pie and wonder if you have ever seen one or made one. Many thanks for the wonderful recipe and tips.

    Hi Terry! Thanks for stopping by! No, I have never had a fig pie. Maybe on of our readers has a good recipe! I’ll let you know if I find one, ok? And you are very welcome!

    • Make a sweet dough / Drain figs & pour into uncooked pie crust / Make strips of dough & lattice the top / Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the lattice / Bake @ 350f until crust is golden brown…yum !!

    • Servings:12

      20 gingersnap cookies
      3/4 cup pistachios (unsalted, unroasted)
      1 tablespoon brown sugar
      1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
      3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
      1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
      1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half, whichever has fewer additives)
      1/4 cup honey
      1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
      1 3/4 cups Greek yogurt (2% milkfat recommended. if you can’t find it, you can approximate using fat free greek yogurt and th)
      1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      16 ounces fig preserves

      Preheat oven to 325.
      In a food processor, combine cookies, nuts, sugar, and salt. Process until fine crumbs form. With machine running, slowly add butter until mixture resembles wet sand. Press crumbs in bottom and up side of a 9″ pie plate. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 10-15 min. Cool crust completely.

      Place 3 tbsp cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin on top and let stand for five minutes. In a small saucepan, combine cream (or half and half), honey, cardamom, and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Don’t boil. Remove from heat and whisk in gelatin mixture until completely dissolved.
      In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt and vanilla until completely smooth.
      Add cream mixture to bowl and whisk gently to combine. Pour filling into cooled crust and refrigerate until chilled and completely set, about 2 hours. Top with fig preserves to serve.
      May also use walnuts or almonds in place of the pistachios.

        • Have you ever made a fig tart using these preserves? I have a lot of figs and my husband loves home made fig tarts. I need a recipe

          • No, I’m sorry I haven’t and I don’t have a recipe. Maybe someone will comment here and give you one!

            • My mother use to roll out can biscuit on floured wax paper, place figs preserves on half. Fold over other half. Press edges with fork to seal edges. Place in hot oil(enough to cover half tart). Brown and flip to brown other side. Drain on paper towel!!!! Delightful served hot with scoop of vanilla ice cream!!!!

              • Hi Donna, and welcome to the Bayou. What a great idea? Thank you so much for sharing your grandmothers recipe! I will just have to try this in the Bayou woman kitchen and give you and your grandmother credit. Thank you so much!

  8. I always make the strawberry fig preserves but my mother is begging me to make the old fashion plain ones like Grandma used to make. I don’t recall her adding sliced lemons and since I don’t have any on hand, today I am going to delete them but can’t wait to try your recipe!

    Wonderful! Please come back and let us know how the recipe worked for you, ok? Do you own a B&B by chance?

  9. Each year my our family go to Nags Head for a week at the beach. There is a fig bush(tree) at the beach house. Usually when we are there the figs are ripening. This year after talking w/my son and his wife about a fig preserve, cashew butter, and guyar cheese sandwich they had eaten at a restaurant in Chicago I have decided to try to make fig preserves. I haven’t made preserves in a long time and am very excited about trying your recipe. I’ve visited many sites and recipes today and will let you know how they turn out. Judy from Richmond, VA

    That is super, Judy! I hope you used the recipes here and that they work well for you. And I’ve never heard of such a sandwich. Sounds interesting! Enjoy!

    • my Wife and I are new to this, first time we have joined a blog of sorts. I am from Southwestern Louisiana Cajun Country. My Mom made Fig preserves just like Bayou Woman and Thank you for keeping this beautiful preserve alive. I wanted to comment on Leroy’s Fig Cake recipe. After Mom’s passing we only had a cryptic recipe as she made it so often she made notes to herself. We have a Bumper crop of Celestes this year and would love your Recipe pleas feel free to contact me for my email address. Living in Arkansas now we have better luck growing Celestes than Brown Turkey but just as wonderful and extremely honey flavored and a bit larger. Thank you Leroy and hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely Ron and Betty

        • Lots of folks freeze them and can later, but be sure you check how “watery” they are when you thaw them for cooking. You might not need any extra water while cooking them down. You are most welcome here, and I hope you hear back from Leroy! BW

  10. I have the largest fig tree I have ever seen. Tall men with ladders cannot reach the beautiful figs at the top. Still, I have been giving away figs by the bagful. My neighbor made fig preserves with them and inspired me. Her recipe is similar to yours, but she adds a dash of vanilla (her mother uses rum). I’m going to give your recipe a try. This is my first attempt at preserves…

    Wonderful, Kerry! I’m so very glad you stopped by and I hope the recipe works well for you and that you enjoy the fruits of your labors! Aren’t fig trees beautiful?

  11. Found you while looking for a fig preserve recipe. This one sounds like what my mother used to make and I am anxious to try it. Also am drooling over your cornbread. Will you share your recipe?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, Kitty! Please come back and let us know how you like the fig preserves, ok? I will make a note to post the cornbread recipe as soon as I can. Thanks for asking.

  12. Thanks for the recipe. Moved to Atlanta from Metairie many years ago and always miss the food. This is the first year that my two fig trees have made figs in any quantity. I made my third batch of fig preserves today and it looks like I’ll get to keep a few of these jars. Amazing how many friends & neighbors happen to mention how much they like fig preserves when they see you out picking figs. My wife loves the “candied” lemon slices. She wants me to reserve a batch of the fig syrup and cook her a batch of lemon slices. Thanks again for sharing the recipes.

    It’s amazing that they don’t tell us how much they love to MAKE fig preserves!!!! Glad you made your way here, Don, and please come back soon. You are very sweet to make your wife candied lemon slices! You can tell her Bayou Woman said so!

  13. got a question? on the lemons do u leave the rind on them??

    Absolutely! That is the part that “candies” while you cook the figs!

  14. I totally have too much sugar in the figs, The lemons taste great the figs taste like sugar. Any suggestions to save this batch?

    The only thing I can recommend would be just a trial. If you are planning to cook another batch, cut the sugar in half, and when you get to the end of cooking, add these into the pot, mixing them all together and then hopefully the balance will be better for you. I’m so sorry they are way too sweet. Are you figs extremely sweet off the tree?

  15. The figs are the fattest, sweetest figs I have ever tasted. I am doing the preserves just because I have too many to eat fresh.

  16. Hello, My figs are ripe in North Carolina and your preserves recipe sounds fantastic. I have one question, though…what do you mean with “process in granny hot-water bath for 10-15 minutes.” I’m making preserves to give to my girlfriends at Christmas (along with my grape & rum jelly), so they need to last longer than a month in the fridge. Thanks for any help/explanation.

    The jars are totally submerged in a large, heavy pot of boiling water and boiled for ten minutes. That is what “seals” the rubber on the lid to the top of the jar, and then they will have a shelf-life of a couple of years (but these preserves NEVER last that long!). Is that more clear? Good luck, and if you have any more questions, feel free! BW

    • Rum jelly? That sounds interesting, I’m all about rum foods, could you share the recipe? I make a rum cake all the time and I think my family would love jelly!

  17. Hi There!

    Thank you so much for this fine recipe. I am actually trying to preserve a quantity of store-bought figs (I live in Canada, so sadly no fresh figs of the tree, here), and your recipe looks beautiful. No fussing with pectin, or ridiculous stuff. Do I need to add more sugar since these are store-bought, and not fresh figs? Having run out of sugar, I’ve added about 1/4 cup of honey….

    • The fig preserve recipe and photos are wonderful – thank you. In late August we had a bumper crop of figs on our just three year old tree in Victoria, BC, Canada. Great hearing comments from people who love to cook – and eat ! Thank you.

      • Hi Karen, and welcome to the bayou! Thanks so much for your kind words, and I hope you come back to visit often. I have learned some interesting twists to an old fashioned recipe from folks commenting here. The internet is a marvelous way to connect and share information, isn’t it? BW

  18. Woohoo!
    Thanks, BW, for starting me on the right track to fig preserves. Although I must say-they veered a “bit” from plain old…I added 1/4 c. honey for lack of sugar, a tip of cuban rum, and about 8 chopped dried apricots, plus a cinnamon stick. Spicy! All of these things attempting to compensate for the flavour of tree-ripened fresh figs….
    Learned a lot from your site, too, about wetland conservation. Thanks!

    Welcome, Jen, to the bayou. I am “evacuated” right now, and somehow I missed seeing your comments. I apologize, as I am using the internet and computers of generous others! I am so glad you found the recipe and your “alterations” sound delicious! I’d love to taste yours!

  19. I have just spent 7 minutes picking figs from my tree and my basket is overflowing. My father used to make fig preserves and now, 40 years later, I think it’s time for me to try it. My figs are exceptionally ripe and VERY sweet, so I think I will have to cut back on the sugar. With the lemon do you think the figs will still firm up?
    By-the-way, the figs are from a cutting I got from my father’s tree about 15 years ago. He got the tree from his father more than 40 years ago. I only wish my kids liked figs . . . .

    Oh my goodness, MaryBeth, what a lovely story—the hand-me-down fig tree! The lemon has never affected the firmness that I am aware of. Good luck with the cooking, and come back soon because we’re making another kind of jelly today!

    • Yes, you can substitute Splenda for sugar, only it takes much longer to turn to a thick syrup.
      I was told by a peach farmer to not use water to cook the figs down, and when they are done, then add splenda before transferring them to jars.

  20. Hi Traci and welcome to the bayou. Sugar helps “set” the jelly and Splenda might not act quite the same as sugar, so you might have to add “Sure-Jell” to help the preserves “set”. Please visit Splenda’s site and see what they have to say about your question:

    http://www.splenda.com/page.jhtml?id=splenda/faqs/everydayemails.inc#1

    And if you use Splenda, would you please come back and let us know how it worked for you? Good luck!
    BW

    • Hey guys… I just stumbled across your site… and let me tell you first off all I am probably the biggest fig fanatic in the whole world. I LOVE preserves, but I also wait yearly for those good, fresh figs off the tree. There isn’t anything better in my opinion. I pray over those fig trees everyday!! In fact, I call our figs my manna… because they are so good I believe they must be heaven sent, food for angels. Anyways, I used splenda last year to make some of my preserves. BW was right on about them not really setting that well. Splenda does not retain any of the same properties as sugar when it comes to thickening and setting them. They were still good though, just a little thin in consistency. I am trying this year to make some with PERFECTLY ripe ones and try not using any sugar or splenda. I am also making some with sugar… just in case though 🙂

    • Yes, you can substitute Splenda for sugar, only it takes much longer to turn to a thick syrup.
      I was told by a peach farmer to not use water to cook the figs down, and when they are done, then add splenda before transferring them to jars.
      I used splenda while cooking, not so thick, so I freezer bagged them instead. I am a diabetic and this works for me

      • As I tried the traditional fig recipe you have posted I also made fig preserves with Splenda and added pectin to thicken. As above you have to taste the preserves as to not add too much Splenda just like sugar. I made fig preserves this way and also strawberry/fig preserves with Splenda delicious. Even added my lemon because I love the taste it never makes it to the jars.

  21. In my yearly morning walks I came accross an unattended fig tree growing wild. I picked about 2 kilos of small green figs. They were hard as rocks. I cross cut the top ends and overnighted them in slaked lime,washed them and boiled in water about 1/2 hour. Sqeezed water out and added them to boiled sugar mixture. (About 2kg sugar to 2.5litres watetr) Added 3 tablespoons lemon juice and let them boil about 2 hours. Delicious.

  22. I did make the peach fig jelly last summer. Sorry, I forgot to report how it turned out. I don’t care for it. Doesn’t really taste much like peach preserves. I won’t make it again. The leaves are putting out on m fig tree, so pretty soon it will be jelly making time again. My neighbor’s have started bringing back their empty jars from last seaon. I think this is a hint to fill them up again!!

    • Oh, Debbie, thank you so much for letting us know this is not the best. We don’t want to waste our resources!!! It’s a great thing for them to bring the jars back. I put my initials on the bottom and tell them, if you want more, you have to bring me an empty jar!!!

      • Hi, While I’m waiting for the figs to ripen I have decided to try my hand at plum jelly. I have a ton of wild trees and they are full of plums. Does anyone have a good recipe?
        Also, when we were young our Grandmother would make us spiced peaches. They were peeled, whole and I can remember seeing whole cloves floating around in the juice. If anyone knows how to make these I would appreciate the recipe.
        Thanks!!

  23. Hi BW, .I’ve yet to try this, but I’m planning to give it a go today. Thank goodness for your recipe, I have a 112 year old fig tree that just keeps on delivering. Even the birds can’t keep up, so it’s plenty for all of us. Just one question, you say to slow cook these, can I use a crockpot and are the rules different if I do?
    Thanks Peta

    • Hi Peta,
      Wow! A 112 year old tree? That is WONDERFUL!!! I’m curious about something, too. Have you kept your figs frozen? Or do you live somewhere that they are just now ripening? I mean, it is winter!!! Well, beginning of spring. I have never used a crockpot nor do I know anyone who has but I think that is a MARVELOUS idea. And since I have figs in the freezer I need to turn into preserves before the weather gets too hot down here, I might try it if you come back and give us a report on how it worked!! One thing is for sure, there will be less chance of a scorch! Please let me know if you try it, okay?

      • This year I did my 6.5 lb batch (trying hard to find more) in the crockpot. My family recipe calls for (North La) 10 lbs sugar to 4 gal figs. I put the sugar over the figs in the fridge over night and then in the crockpot next morning on high. Not sure, because I watched not timed, but think I cooked on high for 6 hours. Then I removed most of the liquid and cooked it down on the stovetop, stirring almost constantly. Put it back in the stock pot, cooked another hour and put in jars. I processed my preserves at 5 lbs for 15 min. The nice thing about the crockpot is you don’t have to worry about sticking.

        • Well, guess I’m going to have to try crockpot next year. Sounds much easier. I’m curious as to why you pressure can them? We’ve only ever done the granny bath, and that has been sufficient. Thanks for leaving the comment, and come back any time!

  24. Hi there, I’m in Australia, which is no doubt why the season sounds upside down to you – hehe. I still haven’t tried it – but plan to tomorrow, so I’ll definitely report back. Put it this way, it’s been fruiting for ages now and I imagine there can’t be much more left in it – although it keeps surprising me and it’s still covered in masses of fruit. But it’s also a huge tree as you can imagine. We need a ladder to get higher ones, but can’t possibly get to the top. But hey, I think we can spare some for the birds.

    I’ll let you know how the crockpot thing worked…
    bye
    Peta

    • Well, Peta, I certainly wasn’t playing detective, was I? First off, Peta from Oz would mean Australia and then your email address includes the “au” extension. I’m now having a real DUH moment!!!! But thanks for answering and I can’t wait to hear if the crockpot works and makes them golden and delicious!

      Hey Katybug, do you think a crockpot would work for the slow cooking part of our family recipe?

  25. Thrilled to have come across your recipe. I’ve made the Strawberry Fig Preserves before and they’ve been requested numerous times since then. I never thought of using peach Jello before. Did anyone respond to tell you how they turned out? PLMK because my figs will be ready to pick in a couple of weeks.

    I’ve never attempted to make the Old Fashioned Fig Preserves. Can you tell me how long they can stay on the shelves?

  26. I have a huge fig tree on the border of my property and I started planning last year to enter some of the SC State Fair competitions. I have done about 9 months research on different recipes and decided the fig would be the most ” cost effective.” This recipe sounds the absolute best that I have come across, but I will be adding the pulp of scraped vanilla beans and anise seeds. Any pointers for me? Love from SC- just waiting on the figs to ripen, they are already huge!

  27. I have been canning the figs from my tree for several years, and I always like to add some fresh ginger. I just cut a medium-size piece, peel it, and add it to the pot while the figs are cooking (and remove it before putting it in jars, of course). I think it adds a great flavor. Here in Houston, the figs usually get ripe around the 4th of July, so I’ll be out there fighting off the birds and mosquitos to pick as many as I can!

    • Hi Hope and welcome to the bayou I might just have to try adding ginger this summer. Sounds great! I am usually canning figs around the time of my birthday, which is in early July, too! Thanks for stopping by and if you make a comment on the home page (recipe for easy gumbo) you will have a chance to win a prize for your kitchen! BW

  28. Hi BW – So glad I found your site and this recipe. I am here in LA and have a tree that is putting out figs right now! But how do you know when they are ripe and ready for the preserve pot? They are all over the ground but there is still a lot left on the tree. I am hoping to make some fig preserves for my Marksville, LA father as a late Father’s Day present. Merci beaucoup!

    • Hey Cajun Daughter. I don’t know where you are but my figs are not any where near ripe. They should not be on the ground already unless birds and squirrels are knocking them down. Take a look at the color of the figs in the photos and that tells you how they should look when they are ripe. Also, if you take hold of the fig and twist gently, the stem will turn loose easily if it is ripe. Do you know not to use the ones that are burst open? They may have bugs in them or have bird germs in them LOL! Good luck with your preserves!

  29. Doh! I am confusing even myself. I am in the “other” LA, as in Los Angeles, aka lala-land. Thanks so much for the harvesting tips. The few I picked this am came right off the tree easily, but a couple look greener than the ones in the pictures. I will hold out for the pinker ones now. But… will they ripen up after they are picked? (sorry if that is a really dumb question). Thanks so much for all you are doing to raise awareness of the wetlands! Southern Louisiana is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

    • No, I’m the one confused! Thanks for clearing that up for me! LaLa Land, now that’s funny!! Have we met? There is a woman out your way who has formed a non profit for awareness called For the Bayou and has a website with same name.

      About figs, they will not continue to ripen, but will sour and ferment very quickly if not cooked or refrigerated. They are not a fruit that lasts long once it’s picked–at least not down here.

      Tell me, where are you originally from?

  30. Thanks so much for that info. This is my first go-round with the fig thing. My dad LOVES fig preserves and they are very hard to find out here.
    Originally he’s from Marksville but I was born in northern California. I spent many summers in Marksville and all around southern Louisiana with my dad’s family – Didiers and Couvillions. I have visited a few times since but not since ’06. Things have changed a lot but I still miss it so much!

  31. Hello there – My mom’s fig tree is ripe and ready and I’ve never canned/preserved before. I’m throwing a party for her 80th b-day in September and want to serve a brie with a fig preserve topping with toasted walnuts on top. Can I use this recipe for that? When ready to use, can I just pulse the preserved figs in a blender so they are spreadable?

    ALSO – I don’t know how to can/jar….Do I heat up the jars and lids somehow before putting the fig preserves in? I’d love to make a bunch of this to save and savor throughout the year. BUT I NEED HELP!

    Thank you so much!

  32. Great fig preserves…I have been canning figs for years, but wanted to try something new…this recipe produced absolutely delicious preserves and they look pretty too!! One additional bit of info… 12 cups of figs makes 7 half-pints..
    Thanks so much for sharing..
    Virginia

    • Thanks so much, Virginia, for taking the time to come back and let us know how much you like the recipe. I am about to post another one where the figs stay whole. Thanks for the measurements, also. BW

      • I realized early this morning that my measurements were wrong…12 cups of figs will make 7 pints (not half-pints)…sorry for the error..
        Thanks again for the great recipe..

  33. I make plum jelly nearly every year and use the recipe inside the surejell box. It is really a good one and makes several jars.

    Mom makes spiced peaches but, she never writes quantities down! But, I know they are very delicious. I can munch on them without breaking out since they are cooked. I do have her Ball or Kerr canning book from the 50s and one I found at a garage sale from the 40s. Bet they have a recipe in it.

    • Ah, Debbie, I thought I corrected the typo? I”ll have to go see. Meanwhile, use 2 slices. Two lemons is a typo and someone wasted a batch of figs by using 2 whole lemons (entirely my fault) and they were bitter. So, if you want more lemon flavor, you can experiment with 2-4 slices. Good luck!

      • Lst year I thought I used one of your recipes that called for more lemon slices. I cooked the figs for hours and when you take the lemon out it is like candied lemon. i put a slice in each jar. I wish I had printed out the recipe.

        • Debbie, it was the “Plain old fashioned fig preserves” but there was a typo. It said “2 lemon sliced” and it should have said 2 lemon slices. I’m glad you liked the lemon. Feel free to use 2 lemons if you like!!!! And if this is wrong, Katy Bug is going to set us straight. I just re-posted the same recipe this year but with photos this time.

          • I tried the blackberry fusion recipe and I like them. Mine are a little sticky too, but put it on warm biscuits and it tastes great. I did put more slices of lemon in the old fashioned preserves and one slice in each jar of finished preserves. Our neighbors like the lemony flavor. I wanted to cook more, but we are 6 inches under our normal rainfall and the figs just aren’t producing. I hoped to get enough before the end of the season to try a fig pie and fig cake. I guess I can pick a few everyday and freeze them until I get enough. Thanks for the great recipes!!

            • Great Debbie! Thanks for letting us know. Wonder what we can do about the stickiness? Oh, and I’m glad you liked the lemon. Each to his own, right? There’s just no wrong way! Come back soon, okay? We give away Community Coffee products here weekly! BW

          • I’ve been making fig preserves since I was a tadpole, with my mom and dad and grandparents. But I just started using lemon slices in the past ten years or so. What I do is figure how many jars I’ll end up with, and I put that many slices into the preserve pot. When I fill each jar, I make sure I put a slice in each, about halfway into the jar.

            • Thanks for your wonderful comments, Gerry. You can ignore the email I sent you as I see here you went ahead and left public comment. That’s a great idea about the lemon slices. You’ve obviously been doing this for a while. Again, thanks!

      • Just looked at my reply from last year on July 18th and I say I used 4 lemons. All my neighbors loved the lemon slices, so I will have to find the recipe with more lemon.

  34. Wendy, I decided to use the gallon of precious figs that my friend picked and brought to me and make “Just Plain Old-Fashioned Fig Preserves” instead of using the recipe with blackberry jello as I originally intended. The preserves are DELICIOUS!!! I couldn’t hardly wait for them to chill so I could pile some on top of a “cathead” biscuit and enjoy it with a good strong cup of dark roast Community Coffee. Now that’s good eatin’!!

    • Hey, Janice! Have we met? I know LSU is a big place, but I know quite a few folks who work there. I cross paths with folks from all departments in my line of work. Glad you like them. They are so good. Like little balls of golden love!!!!!

      • I have worked in the College of Business since 2001. My first job at LSU was in the Department of Agricultural Education, which then merged with other departments to become the School of Vocational Education. I have been employed off ant on at LSU since 1980.

    • Last Sunday morning before church, there were three ladies standing in the foyer talking about figs. (Seems that one of the ladies was given a gallon and she wanted to preserve them but didn’t know how.) How lucky for them that I happened to pass by and told them about finding the “Just Plain Old-Fashioned Fig Preserves” recipe on your website. When I shared with them how the recipe says to cook the figs, one of the ladies said it sounded like how her mother and grandmother used to do. I told her where she could find the recipe — pictures and all — and she was thrilled!! Wendy, thanks for “spreading the love” with this wonderful recipe and allowing us to remember good times from years gone by.

      • Janice, your words are deeply appreciated. Thanks so much for taking the time to share that story and your sentiments! I feel the same way you do about carrying on the memories and good times! I hope they and you become blog followers!

  35. This year is my first real experience w/SO many figs. Making my first batch of jam I stood in the kitchen, stirred as needed & ‘watched’ the pot. The next day I put them in the slow cooker on high & went about my day. By midafternoon they were cooked down & measuring I went by your recipe. It has worked out great for me. Now I put them in the slow cooker overnight on low & by a.m. they are ready.

    I did add the lemon but not the sugar since I really just filled the cooker & let it do it’s job. Then measured cooked figs to appropriate pot, added sugar following the receipe. Turned out Great!

  36. Thank you so much for posting this. I have been tearing everything apart trying to find a recipe for my grandmothers fig preserves. I called my 4 sisters to see if they had it and no success. I was really disappointed, I knew I would never find a recipe like hers again! I knew they had lemon in them because I remember loving the lemon flavor and eating the lemons and they were so good! My grandmother died in 2002 at the age of 96. So I new this was an old recipe that had been passed down. This sounds so much like it, I am so excited and can’t wait to make them. My grandmothers stayed whole and you could just pick them up and plop in your mouth or put on plate and cut up, are these that way? Thanks again. By the way my grandmother was from Alabama, born near Citronelle, but moved to Birmingham and lived there for years.

    • Hi Starr and welcome to the bayou. My great grandmother was originally from over that way, so I’m sure it is very close to the same recipe. Let me refer you to this recipe, which is the same recipe, but the figs stay whole. Take a look at the photo of the figs and lemon in the jar. Does that bring back memories? And honey, they are like little golden globes of love!!! BW

  37. I don’t have enough lemons to be able to slice them and include one in each jar. Is the reason for the lemon is aesthetic or does it need the extra acid from the lemon being in each jar. I just cut mine in half. I hope that’s sufficient. Next time, I’ll prepare to have enough lemons.

    • There continues to be confusion about the lemon. The recipe says 2 slices. The lemon slices just add a slight twang that goes well with the sweet figs. Don’t cut it in half. Slice it thinly. You don’t have to put one in each jar, that part is just for looks; BUT the lemon slices do taste good, too!!!!!

  38. Thanks so much for the recipe for the fig preserves. I had canned figs before but I never knew how much sugar or water was needed. My Creole Mom and Grandmother did not measure. Somehow, they just knew how to add the right proportions. I canned twelve jars and they look good and taste great. Thanks again.

    • Hi Pat! Just remember, even though you tried something new to you, you still used a very old recipe. I’m sure that all our great grandmothers learned from each other down here in the hot, humid south where figs abound. It just gives me such a great sense of fulfillment that we are still learning from each other by sharing what they taught us years ago. You are very welcome, my friend, and I hope you come back to this bayou blog and see what else is cooking that might bring back a memory or two from your childhood! BW

      • Thanks so much for replying to my first comment on your fabulous fig preserves. Do you possibly have a recipe for sweet potato pie made with a sweet dough crust? Again, My Mom and Grandmother made these great pies without measurements. I would love to make some this fall.

  39. Thanks so much for the recipe for the fig preserves. I had canned figs before but I never knew how much sugar or water was needed. My Creole Mom and Grandmother did not measure. Somehow, they just knew how to add the right proportions. I canned twelve jars and they look good and taste great. Thanks again.

  40. Thanks so much for the recipe for the fig preserves. I had canned figs before but I never knew how much sugar or water was needed. My Creole Mom and Grandmother did not measure. Somehow, they just knew how to add the right proportions. I canned twelve jars and they look good and taste great. Thanks again.

  41. Thanks so much for the recipe for the fig preserves. I had canned figs before but I never knew how much sugar or water was needed. My Creole Mom and Grandmother did not measure. Somehow, they just knew how to add the right proportions. I canned twelve jars and they look good and taste great. Thanks again.

  42. Fig Preserves sound exactly like my Grandmother and my Mother made in Louisiana!

    Would love to print this recipe; however, I see no
    Printer Friendly (just recipe) Icon.
    Have I missed it?

    Many Thanks!!!

    • I’m sorry, M. Coleman, there is no printer friendly icon. You have my permission to copy and paste any or all of it that you wish. When this blog upgrades, hopefully the print option will be available!!! Welcome to the bayou and thanks for commenting!

  43. No one has mentioned that your recipe for fig preserves calls for twice as much figs as sugar; some old recipes call for equal amounts. Less sugar is best for us who have much figs and can use but much weight and need to lose. Thanks!

  44. I have read every one of these great comments, and your recipe as well. My question is this: I want to make preserved figs (in syrup), not fig preserves. We had them all my childhood, served with a square of cream cheese, for an elegant dessert. My mother (87 yrs old) can no longer locate the place in Louisiana where she used to order them from. I used to make strawberry preserves, so know the canning drill, but am looking for a good, simple recipe. Mostly, I want to figs to remain whole, not fall apart or mush like I assume fig preserves would do! I have black mission figs ready to go! Any thoughts?!? Thanks so much. You are the most informative source I have found. -Ruth

    • Hi Ruth! Welcome to the bayou and thanks so much for your kind words! Your wish is my command! Go see this post. This is what you are looking for. I call them little golden globes of love!!!!! Check it out and see if this is what you are talking about. My father loved them “whole”! Let me know what you think!

    • Linda, welcome to the bayou! If you read this post and look at the photos, there are more basics of jarring jellies and jams which will help you. Altogether, there are four fig recipes. If you do a search within my blog for “fig preserves” all four should come up. Everything you need to know is there. Meanwhile, a granny bath is a boiling water bath, or a huge heavy pot of boiling water deep enough to cover the tops of the jars at least 1/2 inch. The jars boil in there for about 10 minutes, which sterilizes and seals the lids on top of the jars while they cool down–making an air-tight seal for shelf life. Make sure the water is already boiling before you place the jars in. After reading all the posts, if you still have questions, I would love to help you sort it out! Hope this helps! Happy preserving! BW

  45. Ooops! posted about this recipe on a reply/follow-up to the fig ala strawberry message from 2 wks ago. Anyway, this one was great too! I’m not sure which one I like best! Can’t wait to have it on my husband’s homemade biscuits. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it’s a keeper!

  46. Just found your site and have enjoyed the ideas presented from the various participants. If anyone wants to share a tried-and-true recipe for peach-fig preserves, I’d love to have it. However, I’ve had problems finding good peaches this year, and I’m wondering whether using fresh frozen peaches in lieu of fresh peaches is a terrible idea. This is the first year that I have enough figs to preserve and I don’t want to mess things up by venturing too far afield.
    Thanks!!

    • Hi Pam, and welcome to the bayou! I think frozen peaches would be fine. But I have to caution you that some of our readers made the fig preserve recipe using peach-flavored Jello, and they did not taste good. I’m not sure how peach and fig mixed together would taste. Have you done this before? One other thing, the frozen peaches might have a little more water than fresh when they are thawed. Also, did you sugar the peaches when you froze them?

    • I do believe I answered that question just a couple comments above yours. If you don’t see the answer AND the link, let me know! Big pot of boiling water, depth at least 1/2 over the top of jars, and boil for 10 minutes!!!!!

  47. The fig in south Georgia are finally ready to pick! I’m going to try your recipe and will let you know how it turns out.

    • Welcome to the bayou, Frank. I’m a little puzzled both by your yield and your question. I don’t know what went wrong, but I think the proof would be in whether or not you love the preserves!!! The yield is never exact, but seems like you should have had a little more than that!

  48. Great recipe. I even tried a small batch with lime. My tree is so full of fruit this year I did not want to create a lemon shortage. Thanks for the recipe, it is the best of the many that I have tried over the years

    • Hi Kyle! And welcome to the bayou. I actually used lime in one batch, too, since I did not have lemon on hand. I think it is fine. How is yours? You are very welcome for the recipe, glad you tried it and especially grateful you came back to let us know! BW

    • You are most welcome, Scott! Welcome to the bayou. I hope you come back often to see what’s cooking down here and other fun stuff! Your recipe looks interesting, though I’m not quite so adventurous with plain old fashioned fig preserves!!! I would like to try them some time though! BW

  49. Howdy BW, I am anxious to try this receipe. Meanwhile I have already WASHED (I just read was a big no no) and frozen my figs in preparation for a big batch…will the figs still be okay to use? Thank you kindly

    • They will be okay, Lorraine, but just don’t freeze them too long, as they seem to get “watery”. Good luck with the recipe, and I look forward to hearing back from you as to how they turned out and if you like them or not! Thanks for stopping by! BW

  50. Best recipe i’ve found on the net,can’t wait to try it. I’ve been eating figs off the trees for years and finally decided to try and make perserves for myself. I’ll write back to let you know how this ROOKIE did…Thanks David

  51. I just used your recipe, and replaced half of the water with bourbon (!!!) and pureed the hot preserves a little to make it more of a jam-style texture, and WOW. Delicious. Thank you so much for posting this super simple recipe. 🙂

  52. I am so excited to try this! I have two fig trees just bursting with nearly ripe fruit and I am on a very strict diet at the moment which (sadly) does not allow figs. I have never canned anything in my life and will have to buy all the equipment but will do it to save my figs for later. I know I will have to freeze the fresh figs as I go to have enough for each batch but am not sure at what point I should pick. For eating fresh I like them a little soft. Shoud I pick before this stage? Any tips for a first time canner? Thank you for a recipe with half the sugar of most fig preserves. They are sweet enough already!!

    • Welcome to the bayou, Michele! Figs will stay fresh enough in the frig. for 3 days if you can gather enough in 3 days to make a small batch. You don’t have make huge batches to start with, and small batches are much more manageable for beginners. You can find used old pots at second hand/junk shops that will work well for the hot water bath. Even if you have a deep stockpot for soup making, you can use it!! I think a fig is ripe when you twist it and it comes right off the branch. I don’t particularly go by color. Even if they are a little firm, they will make good preserves. I don’t ever let them get really soft on the tree, because once picked they age rapidly. You don’t want to use “soggy” figs for preserves!! For more tips, please read all four of my preserve making posts and all your questions will be answered!! BW

  53. Hi and thanks for putting this recipe with the great pics online. I can’t wait to try these. I am a novice and have never made jams, jellies, or preserves and had a question for you.

    What exactly is a “granny bath”???

    Thanks again.

    Sue

  54. I wanted to attempt this recipe for fig preserves–it sounds wonderful. However, as I am a novice (never before making james, jellies, or preserves), I am unfamiliar with the term “granny bath”.

    Could you please explain what exactly “granny bath” means?

    Thanks for sharing what sounds like a wonderful recipe.

    Sue

      • BW, Thanks so much. Sorry, I posted twice because I couldn’t find my first post. Sorry for the confusion. I will let you know how it turns out. I’m really excited.

        Sue

  55. I’ve been surfing the net for a long time looking for the perfect fig preserve recipe, And I came across this one.”It Just Caught My Eye” It is so awesome!! I made my first batch last week and used 8 cups of figs with the 4 cups of sugar and so on. The preserves turned out soooo good that I just had to make more. So this weekend I made a batch using 20 cups of figs! I bet I stirred them for 6 1/2 hours, But it was all worth it thanks to you and your recipe. I just want to thank you very much for putting this FINE recipe online, And it’s so easy to follow.
    Thank You
    Patrick

    • Patrick, your words just warmed my heart this morning with my first cup of coffee and my toast covered in fig preserves! Your figs might be just about played out for the year, but I also make “whole” figs, which I called little golden balls of love!! They really are delicious, and can be served as a desert topping, the figs are so pretty. I’m so glad you tried it and like it as much as generations in my family have done the same. Now, this is the most-viewed post on this blog year after year! I intend to resurrect it each year with all it’s comments, if possible! Tell me Patrick, how many lemon slices did you use in the 20 cup batch? And where are you writing from? BW

      • I Loved your reply BW. I used 10 slices of lemons. And I’m from Atlanta,GA Oh yeah, I have at least 30 cups still in freezer and the tree is still producing like crazy!

  56. Dear BW:

    I have owned my home for 10 years and have a wonderful fig tree. I have always wanted to make fig preserves. Well, I finally decided with the current economy that maybe I would try making fig preserves and give them out as x-mas gifts this year.

    I made your wonderful fig preserves this weekend. Being a novice, I was so delighted that they came out fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing this cherished family recipe. It was amazing and I can’t wait to make some more. I may make a batch with the burbon, as one person suggested in the comments above.

    Thanks again.

    • That is wonderful, Sue! Giving home-made gifts is also a very rewarding thing to do, speaking from my own personal experience. And so few people take the time to make jellies and jams that the recipients really appreciate your sharing the “fruits of your labors” with them. One thing I’ve done over the years with those I plan to share with more often is, I put my initials on the bottom of the jar in black sharpie, and when I give the jam I say, “And the best way to get a refill is to return the empty jars!” And honey, they can’t get that empty jar back to you fast enough! In this age of recycling, we are doing our job and it’s nice not to have to buy cases and cases of new jars every year! So, welcome to the rewarding world of canning. You might want to try this easy recipe if you have lots of figs, because it is a winner, too! Thanks for taking the time to come back and let us know how things went for you! Come back soon, Sue!

  57. haven’t read all the responses, but I wonder how ripe the figs should be … I’ve got all kinds, both very ripe, just with a pearl of syrup or less ripe and firm …

    Your preserves sound perfect and would like to know the above …

    thanks so much.

    • Hi Beth and welcome to the bayou! I find that if you twist the fig slightly and it releases, then it’s ripe enough for canning. Done this for years and no problems. However, you do want to avoid the over-ripe ones that have cracked and smashed by the time you get the bucket into the house. They sometimes have “soured” already and you don’t want that in the mix. Good luck and please come back and let us know how the recipe worked for you, okay? BW

  58. Just a suggestion for all you fig lovers.. fresh figs on hand and want something a little more savory?? I make a fig sauce to go with pork chops and it is an absolutely delectible combination!! You can google fig and pork recipes, but I don’t use a recipe and just add the ingredients to my liking. I cook the pork chop(s) in a pan, then remove… saving all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, then lighty saute a little chopped onion and garlic in the same pan. Next I add chicken broth and red wine (I generally use about 4 parts chicken broth to 1 part wine. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan when you add the liquid to get all that browed pork goodness off the bottom of them pan. Lastly, I add in the chopped, fresh figs. I use LOTS of figs, because I love them so much and I like the nice, natural sweetness they add to the dish. Lastly, cook it all together for about 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced by about half, but be sure to keep an eye on it and stir frequently. Serve over the pork chops. I am telling you I eat this probably 5 to 8 times a week LITERALLY.. right now while the figs are plentiful. Please, dont be intimidated to try this own your own, if you are not used to “winging it” in the kitchen. Anyone can do it and you will not mess it up… once all those flavors hang out in the saute pan together for about 10 minutes, im telling you it is like heaven on a plate!! Enjoy!!

  59. I’ve looked and looked – How much baking soda do you use and why? My neighbor, who has been very generous with her figs, hasn’t ever used baking soda, and she has been making preserves for 40 years from that bush/tree!

      • I, too, wanted to know why the baking soda wash and finally found an inquiry in all those replies. Been looking for a good recipe and they all said wash with soda. Yours is the most direct recipe I have found. Also, the “granny bath” reminds me of when our children were babies and we sterilized the bottles of milk in a bath of boiling water which covered the bottles. Guess those days are gone forever. I have been givin some figs and will try your recipe. Glad to hear we don’t need as much sugar as other recipes I’ve seen.

        • Welcome to the bayou, Ethel! And I am so happy you found a recipe that makes you happy! Yes those days of sterilizing are over and gone forever! Can’t wait for you to try it and come back and let us know how it went. If you would like a couple more, please go to the HOME page, and type “fig preserves” in the Search Bar in the top banner on the right and it should bring up a couple more. There is one for making mock strawberry and mock raspberry that we are loving! Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your figs!

  60. great recipe but i am a novice and did something silly my first batch…i kept the lid on….i made syrup! then i figured it out and made awesome preserves,,,by taking the lid off! LOL Maybe add that to the recipe fro those of us who are just starting out.

    • You mean you put a lid on the cooking pot? Thanks for the heads up. I never even thought about that, since recipes usually say “cover” when they wan you to do so!!!! But thanks so much for the advice to newbies!! Glad your second batch turned out better! BW

  61. I’ve never made fig preserves before and I was wondering if you can cook the figs in a slow cooker to lessen the likelihood of burning? My stove is ornery and I never know if “low” really means “low”. I just don’t want to ruin my figs!

    • Hi Alison, and welcome to the bayou. I assume your stove is electric, and contrariness does present a problem. Someone commented here they were going to try this very idea and get back to us but haven’t yet. I would encourage you to go ahead and try it. I’m trying to think if there is any way the “crockpot” could ruin your figs, too. It might be a very good alternative, and if it works, I’ll feature it here next fig season! As you know, slow cookers suggest using less liquid than a recipe normally calls for. That is my big question with the preserves. There is not much added water to start with, so be careful with that and please let us know exactly what measurements you used that work successfully, would you please? Thanks for stopping by and I wish you the best of luck with your fig cooking! Come back and let us know how it went! BW

      • I prepared my figs in a crock pot, cooked on low overnight. It worked great for me. I did not add as much liquid as recomended. Actually, I don’t know the exact amount. Certainly cut down on my time standing & stirring. I cook w/gas, so was a lot less heat in the kitchen as well.

  62. I’m making another batch of figs as I write this, so it will have to be short, But just letting you know I’m making this batch with Black Missions. I have about six cups and the juice from them is a very pretty burgundy color. I will have to send you a picture.
    Patrick

  63. This is my first year with my fig tree. It is growning like crazy, All the figs are green, how long do they take to ripen? I live in WNC, thanks for any info!
    Cory

    • If you had time to read all the comments you would find the answer to your question, but I’ll make it easy for you. They will start to turn sort of yellow and then darker. I’m not sure what variety you have, but when you can twist the fig gently and it releases from the stem, then it is ripe. If you look at both fig photo step by step recipes on this blog, you will see photos of ripe figs and they have varying shades of color, but they all taste delicious. I never keep the ones that are split or pecked on by birds or eaten by bugs. A sour fig is not a good thing!!! Good luck! BW

  64. Hi BW:

    Just wanted to let you know that I made a 2nd batch, this time with Bourbon, and it came out amazing. I used half Bourbon and half water. Thanks so much to you for the recipe and to all the people who have shared their great ideas. I think I may try my next batch with Grand Marnier and will let you know how that comes out.

    I do have a question for you as far as the lemon is concerned. How thick are you cutting the lemons? While my preserves taste great, my lemons do not seem to hold up well as far as looking like the pics of yours after being canned. So, maybe I am cutting mine up too thin or cooking my preserves a little too long?

    • Sue, you are so awesome to come back and post and share your success with us! Thanks so much. I might have to experiment with something new next year. About the lemon: the slices are a 1/4 inch thick, but mind disintegrate, too. I think the photo might be a bit deceiving. So try that and see! Please come back and visit often, okay? BW

    • Wow, Janet! Those must be some HUGE figs!!! Just pack them in there tightly, and that will do it. Doesn’t matter how many it is, it’s the mass of figs that counts!!!! I hope the recipe works great for you. And is this the same Janet that was a Green Jacket with my little sister in junior high? BW

    • Hi Dottie! Welcome to the bayou. Others may have had better experience with this than I; but I froze the figs without washing them (like blueberries) and when I tried to make preserves with them, they just were not the right consistency. What will you use them for? I also dried some in my food dehydrator. They were pretty good if you like eating whole dried fruits. Hope this helps.

      Anyone else reading this had good success with freezing figs? Thanks for letting us know if you have good luck, Dottie!

      BW

  65. Hey Bayou woman, Choose your recipe cause of your name….Im making figs according to your recipe and they look fantastic. I am using brown turkey for this batch and the next batch is celeste. Don’t know that much about figs or the type that is the best for canning. I live in central fl and not sure when they ripen. Thanks for all your info. CC

    • Hey Cathi! Welcome to the bayou! Doesn’t really matter what kind of figs you have. I’m impressed that you even know! Most of the trees down here are so old, nobody remembers what kind they are!! Good luck with your preserves. I hope you have as much success as the other readers. There are lot of cool twists on fig preserves in these comments. Read them when you have time! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! BW

  66. Debbie, we corresponded awhile back as I was trying to replicate some great preserved figs (not fig preserves) that I had growing up. I took your advice, and recipe, and have read every comment since, and made them with black mission figs. After 6 weeks, I opened a jar. Taste: delicious. Consistency: a bit tough, but would try again with another kind of fig if I can find it. Problem: a lot of crystalization in the sealed jar. Would love a suggestion on how to avoid that. Other: I put as many figs in each jar as I could easily fit, then added syrup to the top. After sealing, it all settled and I wound up with too many figs and not nearly enough syrup. Next time, I would put fewer figs and more syrup in each jar (more jars) yeah! So thrilled to just get anything edible on the first try!! Thank you!

  67. I’m making my third batch of fig preserves for 2009. I guess practice make perfect so this last batch should be ready for the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. Is it necessary to wash with baking soda? I forgot to do that on my first two batches.

    • Hi Johanna! No, it is not necessary. My cousin Katy does that because her grandmother did. We both learned the same family recipe; however, my mother never washed hers in soda that i know of. It just kills the bugs!!! Good luck with your figs. And I hope they turn out GREAT!!!! Please stop by and visit our regular blog. We have lots of bayou fun here and everyone is no friendly! BW

  68. Debbie, Sorry to post again, but wonder if you have any thoughts! We corresponded awhile back as I was trying to replicate some great preserved figs (not fig preserves) that I had growing up. I took your advice, and recipe, and have read every comment since, and made them with black mission figs. After 6 weeks, I opened a jar. Taste: delicious. Consistency: a bit tough, but would try again with another kind of fig if I can find it. Problem: a lot of crystalization in the sealed jar. Would love a suggestion on how to avoid that. Other: I put as many figs in each jar as I could easily fit, then added syrup to the top. After sealing, it all settled and I wound up with too many figs and not nearly enough syrup. Next time, I would put fewer figs and more syrup in each jar (more jars) yeah! So thrilled to just get anything edible on the first try!! Thank you!

  69. why do my figs preserves have sugar lumps,they are like rock candy. What can I do to correct this problem. I hate to throw them away.

    • Hi Maggie. I’m not sure. No one has asked that before. I’ve never done it, nor has anyone who posts here. This might seem a dumb question, but why would you harvest unripe figs? I don’t think they would taste very good, even in such decadent juices! Let us know what you discover, will you? Thanks for stopping by!

      • Oh, I couldn’t see your reply before , sorry to repeat myself !
        In England we don’t always get enough sun to ripen all the figs on my little tree (I’m pushing my luck to get the lovely ripe ones in this climate !)
        This year my tree has set a lot of late fruit & I’m just debating whether to try preserving them.
        I love your recipies !

        • Thanks for the compliment, Maggie. I wish I had more experience with the green figs, but I don’t. If you try it, please come back and share your result, won’t you? Good luck with that!

  70. We are so fortunate to have an amazing fig tree. I add black walnuts and a handful of golden raisins to our preserves just before canning. Can’t be beat on homemade buttermilk biscuits hot from the oven! M y husband wants me to try adding bourbon next year. Great idea!

    • Hi Brigett! Welcome to the bayou and thanks so much for sharing with us your fig preserve recipe additives!!! I never knew there were so many ways to do them up! Please come back and let us know if you like the bourbon, okay? Also, where are you located?

  71. Hi! I am from Louisiana so I am a lover of fig preserves. when I was moved to California three years ago, I brought all the preserves I had left with me. They are all 5 to 7 years old. The caps are still down, so I was wondering if you thought I could still eat them. I’ve been staring at them on the shelf for three years now and don’t k now what to do. I can’t let them just sit there, but I also can’t bear to throw them out. HELP!

    • Well, Christine, since you are in sunny California, I think this is the year you should find a new supply of figs and make some fresh fig preserves!!! I am no pro, but if you look at old cookbooks, they say canned fruits are edible for about two years. Beyond that, there is not much food quality left. And honestly, if you’ve ever had a case of food poisoning, you know it’s not worth it. Go ahead and take all the jars off the shelf, stack them in a pretty display on the table or counter in good, natural light, and take a few photos for posterity. Pick your favorite, print it, and put it on your frig as a reminder of all your labor and what you took with you to Cal. Then pop the lids, pour out the contents, and prepare your jars for this summer’s bounty!!! Then please come back here and let me know how it went! Good luck! BW

  72. Hi,i am from australia and i always toast almonds and put those in then almost caramelise the mixture.Great with a cheese platter etc

  73. Hi there!
    I used your recipe about 2 weeks ago and must say the taste is awsom!
    I have one question though…what is the difference between fig jam and fig preserve.
    I am wanting to make the kind of fig preserne that we serve with cheese and biscuits…what change to the recipe would I make.
    Regards
    Joyce

    • Hi Joyce. The difference? Preserve means the whole fig, unbroken. Jam means the fig can be broken or even somewhat smashed. There is no difference in the way they taste basically, just the consistency is different. Does that help? If you don’t like the whole figs, then you can smash them with a spoon!!!

  74. I used 1/4 honey that the recipe called for sugar, added a few tablespoons of brown sugar, little bit of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. YUMMY YUMMY. Appreciated the base directions and photos!

    -Bella

  75. After all the years I’ve been away from doing this, had to find out what the ratio of sugar and figs were. Thank you.
    I just don’t understand why anyone would want to ruin a fig with other fruit.

    • Hey Ron, thanks for stopping by! Well, to each his own, I guess. I’m not sure if you’re referring to the lemon slices, though, because they truly compliment the fig flavor. But if you are a purist, I don’t blame you!

  76. Just reasonlly I was forced into early retirement, so I’ve working in my garden a lot.I have several fruit trees and berry bushes(blackberries) and having found your web site,have made several different kinds of perserves.My favorite is the fig perserves.Peaches,pears,strawberries,blackberries,watermelon rind,Japanese plum are just some of what I have made to date.Keeps me busy and feeling useful.My wife tells if I could learn to bake she would have her dream husband after 41years.

    • Ha! What a great comment, C.E.!!! I wish my husband knew how to make jellies, jams, and preserves!!! I do enjoy it, though! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! BW

  77. This is my first time to preserve any of my figs and they turned out great. This year I have more figs on my tree than I have ever had before. Hurricane Gustave took out the top of the fig tree and I thought that would be the end of the tree but it bushed out more and is producing so much more than before. I have read all the postings and I think I may try some of the variations like adding bourbon or some spices to the mixture next time. Thanks for the great recipe!

  78. Hello Everyone! BW here. There are so many of you reading this recipe daily, that I would like to ask you to hop over to the home page and leave a comment for your chance to win jewelry hand made from the scales of alligator gar fish from our bayou. It will only take a minute to leave a comment and you will be automatically entered.
    Thanks for taking the time!
    BW

  79. I do soome cooking and I find that for long time cooking like chilli & gumbo i usse a crock pot on high temp and later to lower . It seems that a crock pot to cook the figs would be the easy way with out danger of butning and or sticking as the liners are ceramic.

    Just wondering—-what is your take on this suggestion?

  80. I found your site while looking for a recpe for my mother- we need a diabetic fig preserve recipe- and believe it or not, Splenda comes up with 0 matches!! We need hepl ASAP!

  81. I like this recipe; straight up & easy. Every year I have gallons of figs. This year I plan on taking a handful of my fully ripened jalapenos (red) and making tiny little red strips of them mixed into the figs creating a sweet and hot preserve. Thank you, for your recipe!

    • Noel, have you done that before? I would LOVE to see how that works out and might even like to try that myself with a batch next year. I don’t have any peppers growing this year, so I’ll have to do that part also. Please come back and let us know, okay? BW

  82. I just grinned and shook my head when I saw how many comments were here. I hope you don’t mind but I shared your strawberry-fig recipe with some people that were looking for that exact recipe. One person remembered his mother making it 30+ years ago when he was a little boy. He tried your’s and said it was perfect!

  83. One of me Grandmothers used to make Fig preserves – though we called it Nuts & Figs due to the addition of Walnuts to the mix.
    Also ye can add a drop or two of Rum or Brandy for extra zing…

    Kudos to those using Honey for sweetener…or natural Cane Sugar – stick to the real thing folks, it’s better for ye!

  84. hello BW- I’m cooking the last 2 gal of traditional figs I will cook this year- makes 6 gal tooat all thats left to pick and cook are the strawberry ones. then its on to pepper jelly. The fig recipe ia almost like mine but I uese a little less sugar. Was EJ’s moms . God Bless

  85. Hi,

    Thanks for the great recipe! We are getting a ton of figs off our 4 trees right now, and they are splitting with all the rain. So needed a way to preserve them besides freezing them (we like to cut in half, put in the freezer, and make smoothies out of them)!

    Cheers
    EPHEMERATA GARDENS

    • Because first off, they are not a “jam” or “jelly” which needed pectin to set. They are “preserves” where the whole fruit sits in a syrup. The fresh figs have enough pectin for that purpose, combined with the granulated sugar they are cooked in! BW

  86. Pardon me a sec, while I wipe up. I’ve got drool all over my keyboard.

    I remember both of my grandmothers putting up fig preserves. Amongst many other delicious things.

    They did not use lemon slices, though. I’ll bet that IS good.

  87. Love this site! I am in the process of making my first batch w/out the help of my mother! (It’s been 11 years.) I am making my first batch the old fashioned way, but someone shared a new way that I will try next. Thought you’d be interested:

    Place 2 gallons of figs in large shallow pan with 4lb. of sugar. (Splenda can be substituted.) Stir 1-2 times per hour.

    Bake at 325-350 afor about 3 hours. (’til desired thickness.)

    Put in hot jars and seal.

      • I just made my first batch (ever) of fig preserves using your recipe. I cannot stand for the length of time to watch and stir for several hours so I put the recipe in a large crock pot and cooked on high for about 3 1/2 hours until figs were done. I then transfered them to a large pot and simmered until very thick, about an hour. They turned out great, thanks for the recipe !

        • Wonderful, Patsy! Thanks for much for coming back and reporting how well your crock pot worked! This is great news for all of us who are otherwise busy, don’t have the patience, or just can’t stand at the stove that length of time. So, technically, they don’t “thicken” in the crock pot? So, you have to finish them on the stove. That’s good to know. Again, thanks so much for this information. It will help tons of us who wanted to try it but were not adventurous enough! BW

          • Thanks BW. I also forgot to mention that I used Splenda as I am diabetic. The main thing about splenda is not to measure the same as sugar, use less because it comes out to sweet. Correct that the figs do not thicken in the crock pot because there is not evaporation. They thicken right up after transferring to a pot on the stove. By the way, my family and friends love this recipe and I have had to share it with them.

            • Please share the blog address with them. We have a lot of interaction on this blog about current events, family life, and bayou culture. Everyone is welcome to join in and share their ideas. Thanks for coming back with the Splenda tip. BW

  88. Hello BW. I have 3 huge fig trees at my house and my figs are ready. My questions is can I double this recipe? Thanks so much!!!!

    • Oh, you can double it, triple it, and quadruple it as long as you have a big enough pot!!! Just as long as you remember the ratio of figs to sugar. And then be sure to increase the water, too, but don’t overdo it with the water or you’ll have some fig syrup left over—-which goes great on pancakes!!! I discovered that last year when I put too much water and had syrup left over after all the jars were filled. Yummy! Thanks for using the recipe and for stopping by! Come back any time! BW

  89. Never picked figs in my, life! Only way I had ever eaten figs was in Newtons…UNYIL…

    Picked figs at friends house friday night. Made the whole fig preserves, some grape fig preserves and some straxberry fig preserves. Now everyone wants my figs!

    Consider me a fig addict going forward!..OMG..these recipies are amazing and now a family heirloom…I need more figs!!

  90. I’m having a hard time determining how long to cook the figs. One time they were candied, the other time too thin for preserves. Is there a temperature on a candy thermometer that I can judge the correct stage of cooking?

    • I’m sorry you’re having a hard time, and I wish I had the answer for you, but I don’t. I have to tell you that what you consider” too thin” might be just right. The syrup is not a thick syrup when the cooking is done. It falls easily off the spoon, even when they have been refrigerated. So, maybe you are doing it just right!!!

  91. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I make preserves every year but always wish they weren’t so sugary tasting, half as much sugar to figs is the ticket!!!! Thanks for a great recipe!!

  92. Thank you, thank you, thank you! For helping me bring back a childhood memory to share with my own kids. My grandmother and great-grandmother put up jars of syrupy, honeyed fig preserves from the ginormous fig tree in the old home yard. This was my first time a canning by myself and and am so pleased with the results. Although, I have to admit I picked the lemon rinds out and just ate them plain! Thanks again!

    • Oh, wonderful, Cindy! I pick the lemon rinds out and EAT THEM PLAIN! LOL! Thanks for getting back to me on this, and again, it brings me great pleasure to help someone relive good memories. BW

  93. Oh! I meant to hsare – if you can’t wait and want to try some of the figs fresh, slice ’em in half, put a dab ( about a pinky finger tip) of goat cheese and a little bit of cooked bacon or country ham on each half and pop it in your mouth. Delicious!

  94. About the “peach-fig” discussion – I just made a small batch of this combination – probably about 3 or 4 cups of each – figs halved and peaches cut in small pieces. I only added about 1 cup of sugar and cooked down to a conserve consistency.
    This amount did not really take long. I served it on pancakes with a dollop of whipped cream. My husband thought he was at IHOP!!! It was great!

  95. Hi- I have used your recipe for the figs and it is great. I didn’t see the deal about washing the figs in baking soda and water. Why do you use the baking soda and how much? Thanks!

    • Hi BW, I have read in other places that the baking soda just acts like soap to clean the outside of the figs but that it also might reduce any bitterness in the fruit. I added the figs to a pot of ~2Q hot water and 0.25C baking soda and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The water turned a dark reddish purple from the ripe figs and the figs themselves seemed to brighten up a little. Just be careful with the very ripe ones because they can turn to mush if handled too roughly. Other may know more than me on this.

  96. Hi BW!

    Thank you so much for this recipe and the wonderful pictures! They were a big help to me when I made my first batch of homegrown fig preserves! Here’s what I did:
    4C whole figs
    1.5C white sugar
    0.5C brown sugar
    1.5C water
    0.25C lemon juice

    I added the half cup of brown sugar because I ran out of white sugar. I dissolved the sugar in the water and added the figs when it started to boil. And then I let it simmer – uncovered – for about an hour before I realized that I had to add more water to account for all of the evaporation. Am I doing this right? Do you cook the figs covered or uncovered? I ended up simmering them about three hours and never saw the color change that you showed but I think that has more to do with the brown sugar than anything else. Would cooking them with the cover on be OK or do you think it would turn the figs to mush?

    Thanks again,
    John

    • Hi John and welcome to the bayou. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Covering them cooks them faster, so you just have to stir more often and watch out for the “candied” effect. If covered, I think the cooking time would be shorter. Stirring them too roughly and overcooking them turns them mushy. It’s fine to heat water and sugar to dissolve, though I would NOT boil it and add the figs. Bring it all to a boil together, slowly. Good luck with next batch!

  97. Hello Bayou Woman, These preserves are delicious! I made them last year and am making a batch now. My Dad is 90 years old and he said they taste just like the ones his Mom used to make. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and the great photos.
    Wanda

    • Hi Wanda, please tell your daddy for me what a great compliment that is and how good it makes me feel to know that we are carrying on the home and cooking crafts of our ancestors. Continuity really is a good thing. It keeps us connected to the generations before us, and keeps their memory alive. I think of my grandmothers and mom every time I do some jelly making and canning or reach for a jar from the pantry. My daddy LOVED whole fig preserves, and he is long gone. Thank you for taking the time to come here and leave such a positive comment. Give your daddy a hug for me, please. Blessings! BW

  98. I just got your recipe and am going to try my hand at making fig preserves. Haven’t made any in quite a while, but I absolutely love fig preserves. Will let you know how they turn out.. The pictures you have posted along with the recipe are very helpful. Thanks again & keep up the good work!!

    Pam

    • Hi Pam, and welcome to the bayou. I’m happy to see you’re going to give fig preserves another try! I do hope the step by step helps spark your memory!! Kind of like riding a bike . . . Enjoy and let us know how it goes, okay? BW

  99. Thanks will definatly try your recipe looks fantastic. I will try it when more ripen right now I am getting small amounts off my little tree up here in Baltimore MD. Here’s a suggestion you might want to try. Instead of lemons use a shot of ginger liqueur or I guess a little ginger ale might also work.

  100. Just wanted to Thank You for posting this recipe and the photos. Greetings from North Carolina. A friend let me taste some of her fig preserves about 2 weeks ago and I knew I had to give it a try. I thought I was going to get some figs from her tree but they never could get anyone to climb to the top for the remaining ones so the birds got them. I thought I had missed it. Then, another friend called and said she had about 5lbs of figs for me. I’ve been working with them all day and have just taken 7 half pints out of the water bath. First lid just popped. I had to scrape the bottom of the pot to finish the 7 jars. Wasn’t even enough left to eat right away. After licking the spoon, I don’t know if I’ll be able to wait a few days or not before trying them. I just hope I didn’t overcook them but they were totally delicious. This is my first year at canning. Mama did it all her life. I never knew so much work went into it. Now, when anyone gives me a jar of “homemade”…I know just how much they love me. Thus far, I’ve done Sweet Pickles, two types of squash relish and now the fig preserves. Thanks again. Be Blessed!!!

    • I am already so blessed, Steve. First by loving family and secondly by great folks like you who take the time to leave encouraging comments here. I’m glad that lady gave you figs and I’m so glad you now appreciate all the love that goes into canning. As I have said before, it really is a labor of love. Pickles and relish sound really good too. Do you have a garden? And welcome to the bayou. Please come back often. BW

  101. We live in New England and my husband really has a green thumb! we have several fig trees that produce tons of figs and I am always on the lookout for great recipes to use them up.

    Besides sharing them with all of our friends and family, we cut the figs in half, drizzle them with a little balsamic vinegar, place a small piece of blue cheese on top of the cup side and wrap with a super thin slice of prochuitto and cook on the grill just until cheese is slightly melted! Yummy!I I am a cake baker/decorator and I also bake an upside down fig cake that freezes well. I make it the same way you would make an upside down pineapple cake, Butter and brown sugar melted in the baking pan, place figs that are cut in half – cut side down in the pan and then sprinkle walnuts over the figs and lastly the cake batter of your choice. We like a vanilla cake. Cake is best served warm with either a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.I also make a honey liquor and place halved figs in the jars and pour the liquor over them. It is such a treat to serve around the holiday season. A few figs in a pretty crystal glass soaking in the honey liquor is the perfect ending to a great dinner – serve with a platter of assorted cheese and other fruit and nuts – very elegant.

    • Wow, Ms. Cakes!!! Thanks so much for sharing these figgy ideas! I for one would love to try them. Oh, and if you are looking for a little twist to fig preserves, do a search on this site for the the Strawberry Jell-O fig preserve recipe. And you can use also use raspberry. Everyone who has tried it, LOVES it! Thanks again for stopping by and I hope the recipes work well for you.

    • I’m going to try the upside down fig cake when my next batch gets ripe…sounds great and I am always looking for ways to extend the enjoyment. Freezing the cake is a wonderful idea to be prepared for the holiday season.

  102. It’s 6:37pm. I’ve just started cooking my “second” batch of fig preserves with your recipe. I was so delighted with the way my first batch turned out that I had to hunt down some figs to make more. They’re really great. I’ll be up until midnight, that’s the bad part. I have to get up at 4:30am each morning. It’ll be worth it though if they turn out as well as last time. Thank You again for sharing the recipe and most especially…the photo instructions. Be Blessed!!!

    • Hi again Steve! So glad you like the recipe that much! And I hope you are sharing some of those preserves so others can see how great they are! Thanks again for coming back and letting us know how you liked the recipe! BW

  103. Best & easiest recipe ever! Just what I wanted – appreciate the measure in cups not pounds since our figs don’t ripen all at once. Thanks!!

  104. love this recipe thanks have made it twice !! Seems to make smaller quantities than you suggest but its great anyway.

    Does anyone have a recipe for homemade fig rolls made from fresh figs or it it just wholewheat shortcrust and fig jam ?

    Margaret

  105. When I had an abundance of the fresh, really sweet figs, I mixed them half and half with chopped dates, covered them with water and cooked them until soft, (not very long). Then I blended them with a dash of coriander and cardamon with a small slice of lemon. Tastes sort of like fig newtons. also works well with the dried figs..had so many, I resorted to drying them in halves. They were easy to send to my friends overseas. I am going to try your recipe for the preserves. Thanks for posting it.

  106. I followed this recipe a few days ago and ended up with some great candied figs! Not sure what happened…
    Cooked them as slow as possible- heavy pot, gas stove and used 1 cup of water to the 4 C Figs and 2 C sugar. There was no way I could have cooked them any more than 90 minutes as the mixture was really thickening.
    Any ideas? Btw the lemon in the figs inspires me to try a marmalade!
    Thanks!

    • I’m not really sure what happened, Liz. Too much pectin in the figs somehow? Fire too hot? Pot too hot? I just don’t know. Sorry about that. I guess when they start to look too carmelized, it’s too late, huh?

      • Tried again last night and it came up fine but I am still getting just a little over 2 half pints. On my first try I think two things happened -First, pan I used had a large bottom (possible extra evaporation) and second, I assumed I needed to bring the mixture to a boil. Assuming… Yep That’s what makes candied figs! I do look forward to using the candied mix in some holiday pastry- Just need to find something suitable before I eat it all up!
        Thanks!

  107. Hi I live in Nwe Zealand and where I am in Christchurch fresh figs are very expensive so was wondering if I could use dried figs which are of a good quality which are in sealed packs , so they are not too hard . I do hope so as this just sounds devine
    Kind regards Margaret

    • You must first do some research you “re-hydrating” them before you cook them, I would think. So, good luck with that and please let us know how it goes.

      Readers: Have any of you used dried figs for this preserve recipe? If so, please share with us!

  108. I have a tree from a cutting of my mothers. The figs are huge(a little larger than a golf ball) and very sweet. This is the second year since planting the cutting and the crop was a little late. I have about 6 cups of figs ready to preserve but there are many more on the tree that will not ripen before the first frost. Is there anything I can do with the ones that are not ripe yet. I sure would like to make more preserves with these but they are hard as bricks. These figs are about the size of a quarter..

  109. Finally after 10 years, our fig tree here in Sydney, Australia has given a yield of more than its usual maximum of less than a dozen fruit! We’ve been eating them fresh off the tree every morning until now, but they began to ripen very quickly . I went to the web and found your recipe, and they are bubbling on the stove as I type. Looking forward to the result. Thank You.

  110. Margaret, I am attempting for a third time to use dried figs. First two times, I soaked them over night, then followed the recipe. each time I got tough, candied preserves that you couldn’t get out of the jar! Today, I’m going to simmer the rehydrated figs until they feel soft or break down. I even cut them in half to see if that would help soften them. Then I’m going to measure the leftover water and add as necessary, and continue with the recipe but not cook it so long. We’ll see, but I’d love to try fresh figs. Seems it could be easier. Did you find anything since your last post? BW, any thoughts?

    • Hi Leigh! Thanks for getting back to us with your experiment results. Margaret never did come back and reply but I will attempt to forward your question to her private email account. Meanwhile, please let us know how this newest experiment works out. BW

  111. Is there a way to measure by pounds rather than cups of figs? Or what is the equivalent to a cup. Depending on the size I’m only getting 3-4 per cup.

  112. Dear BW,
    your recipe for figs is like my Mother’s and Grandmother’s. I used it this past week and they, fig preserves, look and taste fantastic.
    I simmered for 1 1/2 hours and put into jars. Syrup not thick as I remember my Mother’s. Will cook longer next time. I found your site couple years ago and love it. I like to cook old fashioned way, from scratch, and love your recipes and methods. Please keep them coming.
    I ruined my figs last year by boiling instead of simmering. Hard rock candy-figs not same as properly cooked . Thanks again for your wonderful site.

  113. Dear Bayou Woman,
    Live down here in southern Louisiana and as you know the figs are in season. Made your recipe and it came out great; thickened up nicely and was easy to prepare. I did have one question. I used 8 cups of figs and doubled everything else and the yield was only around 3 and a half pints (7 of the 8 oz. jars). I know that you suggested that you would get around 4 pints from your recipe so I was wondering why my finished product was so small? I did cook for about 2 hours and 50 minutes and mostly with the lid off. Should I have cooked with the lid on? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Philip. You pose a good question. I have found that preserving is not an exact science when done the old-fashioned way. I said 4 pints, because ideally, that is what I should get. However, most of the time, like you, I get 3 full jars and part of another. I put the partial jar in the frig to be eaten on biscuits the next morning. Covering the pot will make a difference in the amount of liquid that you keep, but sometimes, after I have jarred all the figs, I have syrup left over. I have jarred it, sealed it, and canned it and labeled it “Fig Syrup” and have eaten it on pancakes. So, as I said, you just really never know what you might get. Also, the water content in the figs can make more syrup, too! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment. I’m so glad you like the recipe and that it worked well for you! Happy canning! BW

  114. Hi BW; I am in South Mississippi and have so many figs. Picking about 2 gallons a day. My mom passed away last year, so this is my first year of canning without her. I want to use your recipe because it sounds just like she used to do her figs. I do have one question. Do I start the figs out on low, or do I reduce the heat after the figs have come to a simmer? Since you call for a 3 hour cook time, I’m thinking that I should start them out on low?? Thanks a lot!! Gina

    • Hi Gina. I can so empathize with you about the loss of your mother. My mom used to make our fig preserves, too. I’m honored that you will be able to use this recipe and reproduce those memories and some good preserves for your family. Start off on low, because you don’t want to scorch them at all. The heat will gradually build up. Good luck and have fun! BW

  115. Hi Bayou Woman,
    I’ve been looking for a fig preserve recipe to come close to my grandmother’s; looking for years……and today I tried yours…..AMAZING!!!! So good and actually better than Grandma Norah’s. Thanks, Wendy!
    Melinda Donovan

    • Hey lady! So glad to be of assistance! Glad to see you’re still alive and kicking and making preserves, too! And thanks for taking the time to let me know the recipe worked well for you!

  116. Hi, I have waited for weeks for figs to ripen here in Baton Rouge. My mom was a “fig junkie.” However, at all most 90 years old she passed away in May.
    But yesterday I picked a big mess of fresh figs. Today, my mom, grandmother and great grandmother with me in spirit, I will use your recipe to make perserves.
    The older I get the more I go back to my southern roots. Earlier in the season I made dewberry jam.

    • Hi B.J. and welcome to the bayou. Mmmmmm, dewberry jam. And I’m so glad to hear someone use that term “dew berry”! Yes, my friend, they are with you in spirit as you carry on the tradition of making preserves and canning. Sometimes, if we are not Native American, we feel we don’t have roots or traditions, and that is just not true. So bring forth from your treasure of memories some good thoughts about your mom, grandmother, and great grandmother. And be blessed! Good luck with your preserves, and I hope this recipe meets your approval. BW

  117. You don’t have to do the “granny bath.” My ladies down the traditional line have always poured the jam/jelly into the jars, seal lids and instantly turn the jar upside down until cool!!! This too seals the jars nicely….

    Terry

    • Hi Terry.
      Thanks for that recommendation, but I had a bad experience with this method. The seals appeared to have sealed, but did not form a complete air-tight seal and bacteria did creep in over time. Of course, sugar is a retardant for bacteria growth, but at the risk of food poisoning, it’s safer just to go ahead and do the granny bath. I apologize for publicly disputing your helpful tip, but I cannot in good faith recommend this method because of the occasional jar that does not seal tightly. If the jars and lids are also not BOILING HOT, the seal will not be air tight. Welcome to the bayou and good luck canning! BW

  118. Hubby came in with a 3 gallon bucket of figs from the neighbors this morning. I have many jars of strawberry fig freezer jam, and wanted to do plain old fashioned figs. Googled and your recipe was at the top of the list…just what I was looking for! Your jars of figs are beautiful, and I love the look of the lemon slices in the figs…may have to make a grocery run before canning! 😉 Can’t wait to check out your site, and see what other goodies you have here! Have a great day!

    • Welcome to the bayou, Linda! I hope you have fun exploring here, too! Come back often and there will be a contest one day soon, too! Good luck with those old fashioned fig preserves. BW

  119. Fig Preserves in Slow Cooker (Crock Pot)
    Lower Sugar Recipe
    Ingredients:
    8 cups stemmed, quartered, medium-ripe figs
    3 cups granulated sugar
    Less than 1/4th cup lemon juice (to your taste)
    One package pink Sure-Jell pectin (lower sugar)
    4 pint jars and lids or 8 half-pint jars and lids
    1 cup water

    1. Turn slow cooker on “high”
    2. Wash, trim stems and quarter 8 cups medium –ripe figs, and pour into slow cooker.
    3. Mix 1/6th cup lemon juice (or to your taste) with 1 cup water and stir into the cooker.
    4. Mix ½ cup dry sugar with Sure-Jell pectin and add to cooker, stirring into the fruit mix.
    5. Stir every 15 minutes with a wooden spoon.
    6. After one hour, add 2 ½ cups sugar to cooking fruit.
    7. Prepare jars and lids (4 pints, or 8 half-points) by boiling in a water bath.
    8. Continue stirring once every 15 minutes for a second hour.
    9. Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling within 1/8 inch of top. Screw lids on tightly and invert for 1 hour.
    Lids will “pop” showing that the seal is complete.
    10. Let stand at room temperature until cool.

    • Dear Eda and Ann, Thank you for this crock pot recipe, and I like to give credit where credit is due. If it is yours, that is wonderful and you are so generous to share!!! If it came from another site, may I have the link, please? Welcome to the bayou and I hope you come back often!!! BW

  120. Hi Terry,
    Mom amd I finished our batch, and heard the jast one pop (seal) we had 16 cups figs and used 6 cups sugar 1 small lemon sliced and 1 coffee mug of water. they cooked on low for about 5 hours. scaled my pint jars seals and rings. We finished with 9 beautiful pints and 1 pint of syrup. The lemon was something new for us taste and looks even better. Thanks for the help. Mom and Janet

    • Hi Mom and Janet. Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your canning success with us! My name is Bayou Woman (not Terry) and this is my blog about Life in the Louisiana Wetlands. Please come back and spend some time with us reading our regular life happenings down the bayou. Doesn’t the lemon look great in the jar? I just love it to eat it, too! You are so very welcome for the help, please come back any time! Glad to have you both! BW

  121. My husband and I were both looking for something that sounded like what our grandmothers used to make and I believe that this is it. I’m so excited and can’t wait to try it out tomorrow. We have fig trees but every year we just let people come and get what they want and we only eat the fruit straight from the tree. We finally decided this year to actually make something with them and keep all the figs for ourselves…looking forward to making them!

    • And Heidi, you will be SO GLAD that you did. If you haven’t canned before, it is very, very rewarding. Granted, it does make the kitchen extra hot, so go find your little oscillating fan to keep you cool while you work. I didn’t get any of my own figs off the tree this year. The birds and squirrels stripped my tree BARE. So, I’m enjoying everyone else’s preserve making vicariously! Good luck with your first attempt at fig preserves, and you will not be disappointed with this recipe, as it was the one the women in our family used for many years. We’d love it if you would stop back by and let us know how things went! BW

      • So the preserves have been made and given to a few friends and the reviews are all “Are you making more???” LOL Needless to say, they were a big hit and I was even asked if I was sure my granny didn’t make them and I was passing them off as my own. So, so, so good!!!

        • YIPPEE AND WOO HOO HOO! You made it to the Canning Club!!! Way to go, Heidi! Doesn’t that feel just great? Having people so impressed with something you did with your own hands and poured so much love and memory into. I’m sure that Granny is smiling right now!!! Thanks for coming back and sharing with us!!! BW

  122. Hello and thank you, BW. I have a very old, productive fig tree in Florida and have canned for the first time using your recipe. Thanks to your recipe and beautiful pictures, I am hooked! My mother is always giving me all kinds of preserves, and now I understand the love that goes into the beautiful filled jars.

    • Welcome back to the bayou, Elizabeth! Isn’t it great to have that golden revelation about the love that goes into canning food for your family and friends? Back in the day, it was a necessity. Later, it became a trend. Then it became a novelty enjoyed by “back-to-basics” type folks. I personally believe if we have the gift of trees or plants that bear fruit or vegetables for us, then we should savor those things and touch someone with this time-tested labor of love. I once had a woman scorn the green beans I jarred by asking, “Why in the world would you go to all that trouble when you can buy a can for 44 cents?” I just looked at her, but the real answer comes in the form of a question: “Why would I waste a basket of green beans given to me by a friend who tilled the earth, planted the seeds, tended the vines, and picked the beans? Why would I be so thankless to the Earth that offered life-giving support? Or the sky with its thirst-quenching rain? Or the sun, the life force for all of us. A green bean is not merely a green bean. Like figs, green beans are a miracle of life that give life back. Thanks again for stopping by and I am so glad you’re hooked. Welcome to the Bayou Canners club! BW

  123. By canning your own foods, you know exactly what is in the jar and how sterile the area it was canned in was. Also, they taste better and you have the satisfaction and pleasure of knowing you put food back they way your parents and grandparents did.

    And if you can find a regular size can of green beans for 44¢ that isn’t on sale, let me know! They are at least 89¢ for the off brands on a good day here and normally over a $1. Since my poor husband has been having to go with me to the grocery store lately, he has been in sticker shock and now knows why I don’t buy some of the stuff we used to eat!!

    • Well said, Cammy. Thank you. At the time the comment was made, canned green beans were about 44 cents.! It was quite a few years ago. The other thing they chided me about was baking my own bread. “Why would you bake bread when it’s only 89 cents a loaf?” It’s just how life goes . . . . when those comments were made, II was a young mother with small children and they were midlife, like I am now; but I don’t think I would EVER insult a young mother trying to do right be her family. I would brag on a young woman in this day and age who wanted to bake bread and can her own foods. Sticker shock. We’re all experiencing it.

  124. Hello Bayou Woman! We just moved to Alabama and are lucky to have 2 beautiful fig trees loaded with figs. My husband wanted me to make him some fig preserves like his mother used to make, gulp…tall order. So I tried out your recipe tonight. I wasn’t able to make my syrup thicken like I had hoped so I added sure get. Do you think that was okay to do or did I ruin them? Thanks for the site!

    • Welcome to the bayou, Teresa! What luck! Two fig trees!!! I doubt you ruined them, and you should have been able to tell as you ladled into the jars. Did the syrup thicken after adding the Sure Gel? If you cooked the figs long enough without the Sure Gel, they should have thickened. Did you add too much water? Or not enough sugar? Fresh figs have lots of pectin, which is why we don’t need Sure Gel. It is needed for making jelly with low-pectin fruits, but I’m sure you know that already! I hope they turned out like your mother-in-law’s (or even BETTER!). If not, with two trees, you can try again! If your figs have a high water content, you might want to not add any water next time, okay? Good luck and thanks so much for your questions and comments! Come back any time! We’d love to have you here. BW

  125. I can tell your canning funnel sure has some mileage on it!

    Have you been by to see Shoreacres? Her mum passed away Friday.

    • Thank you for the news, Bug. I surely have not been by much of any place lately This is a very busy time down here — peak season, but I will make time before I run out the door . . . .

  126. Used this recipe a few weeks ago and made truly great figs. Thanks for the sugar proportion suggestion. I never could get that right until now. Had some figs left over and made mango-fig jam. The mango juice and pulp blended with the figs and lemon slice nicely and made a texture I can only describe as honeyed. That will become a “must do” next year. I also made a very small batch of strawberry-fig jam last week and used a lime slice instead of lemon. I used too many strawberries, which overwhelmed the figs some, but the lime gave it a tasty twist. Thanks again!

    • If you want to make mock strawberry, Scott, there is a recipe for that on this blog also. Lots of folks have made it and the raspberry and LOVE it! It’s just a different twist when you have an abundance of figs. Thanks for the mango juice idea. That sounds delightful! Welcome back to this bayou and I hope you come back again soon. We need more male contributors! BW

  127. My husband loves Fig cake made with fig preserves with the sugar,butter, etc. sauce you pour over it is soo good.

  128. This is my first attempt at doing anything with figs. I have been cooking them for 4 hours as of now. They are slowly cooking down but the syrup does not seem to be getting thick. I used a few orange slices instead of the lemon and it tastes so wonderful. Any suggestions on how much longer to cook them? I have them on low to medium low heat.

    • I would have gone ahead and jarred them up at the time you wrote this. You don’t want the figs “candied” which is what you might end up with. They are still good even when the syrup is not thick, but you can overcook the figs. Next time, do not add any water and see how it goes. BW

  129. Dear Bayou Woman: Your recipe for old-fashioned fig preserves is great. I used 20 cups of whole figs, 10 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water. Left the lemons out (didn’t have any). About 2 hours into cooking I decided to mash the figs for a smoother texture for spreading. Made the last hour of cooking interesting and fun. Yes, I mashed the figs while the pot was on the stove. Then did the granny bath. Ended up with 13 pints of the best tasting home-made fig preserves we have ever had. Our fig tree is still loaded with figs so I will be making more. Thank you for posting this wonderful recipe.

    • And you are most welcome, Barbara! All told, I think there are 3 fig preserve recipes on my blog, and at least one of them has the figs mashed beforehand, lol! It just depends on what you like. My dad liked to see a whole fig in the jar, but I agree with you about the spreading capability. Either way, they taste so good. I like to call them golden globes of happiness! Go get you some lemons, girl! And use them in your next batch. Where are you located that you have figs in August? I wish you could send me a jar because I did not make any this year! Happy preserving! BW

  130. BW – I am up to my eyeballs in the second round of figs from our “rescued” trees. We just moved to NC and the trees were covered with ivy. I guess they are expressing their gratitude for being uncovered by drowning us in figs. So glad to have your recipe so I can enjoy them the rest of the year. At last count (not including the dozens of jars I’ve given away already) I have 20 jars of preserves (with another batch on the stove right now) and 30 jars of jam (some just fig, some w/ strawberries). Too bad the foodbank won’t take homemade stuff…

    • I can think of much worse things than being up to my eyeballs in figs, Beth! Thanks for taking time out from your busy jelly-making schedule to write! You are most welcome for the recipe, and I really hope you and your family and friends love the jams yo make! Canning is so rewarding, and you can share the abundance! Please come back soon and hang around a while! BW

  131. Hi BW, Its Paula… I’m back at it. Making my first batch of fig preserves this season. I’ve moved and had to leave my beautiful fig producing tree behind… but I did pick up some organic ripe figs and they are softly cooking in the slow cooker… I can hardly wait for them to get done, I’m salivating as I type!

    • Hey Paula! Welcome back! Mmmmm. Fresh organic figs! How did they turn out last night? Thanks for coming back down the bayou and dropping me a note. Good luck in your new location! BW

      • Since you are down in the Bayou, I am looking for Mayhaw jelly…..Where in the heck do we find Mayhaws? I live in North Alabama, could I get them to grow up here? My dad’s two favorites are Fig and then Mayhaw…..I am doing my fig preserves this weekend using figs from 2 months ago and your recipe. Thanks

        • You are most welcome for the fig recipe. Hope it works well for you. My sister and I did some research on mayhaw trees and found some in a nursery in Shreveport, LA. So, they can be found! Just call around!!! Good luck!

  132. I am making this fig recipe right now. Are you sure that it makes 4 pints? I am thinking more like 3 or 4 half pints. Since there are 2 cups in a pint, that would come out to 8 cups preserves. Just doesn’t seem to add up to me. 4 cups figs, 2 cups sugar, and 1 cup water is 7 cups, and then you boil it down quite a lot. Am I not doing something right?

    • Oh, Pat, I don’t know. Maybe they were the small jars? Just have ’em ready just in case 🙂 Hope the recipe works well for you in spite of my bad jar judgment! Lots of folks have used it and were very happy! Thanks for stopping by. BW

    • Hi Ann, and welcome to the bayou. I think ginger and cinnamon would add a great flavor, but only slight, right? Have you made them your way before? How much will you add into this recipe? We would like to know because some of us try out recommendations from time to time!!! Again, thanks for stoping by. Where are you located that figs are ripe now?

  133. Hi, I would love to know how you do this recipe by weight. I only get 4 figs into my cup measure.!!!!
    Love seeing all the responses you have. I’m from South Africa.

    • Hm. That’s some mighty big figs you got there, Barbara! I’m sorry I don’t have the recipe by weight. But the best thing to do if you don’t want to just use 4 figs per cup, is to mash them with a potato masher and fill the cup OR cut them in half and press them into the cup. I’m so excited to have a reader from South Africa. It is the dead of winter here and my fig tree is as naked as it can be right now! I hope you make some wonderfully delicious preserves! Please let me know what you decided to do. Someone else may ask the same question soon!

    • Barbara – I have really large figs too (in NC) – about 4/cup like you so I first try to use up my smallest figs then I use 10 big figs for 2 cups since there is a lot of space in between the figs and they shrink down. I also do a double batch because I pick about 1 gallon/day during the peak week (right now!) and make this recipe several times during the season. But leave them whole (or cut in half – but mine fall apart if I do that) – they’ll shrink up a a bit when they cook. My favorite way to eat them is on french toast 🙂

    • Hi Helen, and welcome to the bayou. I’m sorry I DO NOT personally have one; but if you skim all these comments, I think one of our readers offered up some ideas similar to this.

    • Hi Karen and welcome to the bayou. This recipe has been done by many and loved by all! I hope it works well for you and comes close to your Aunt Frieda’s. Good luck preserving! BW PS Please come back any time!

  134. I’ve got 2 grandchildren coming over to help pick figs in the a.m. It shouldn’t take too long, and I’m hoping they’ll have fun doing it. At least these 2 are willing. I’m not too sure all of them would do it, willingly that is.
    BTW, Good luck this weekend. I hope all the ladies have a good time.

  135. I hope your fig tree is okay. We, too, have an old one, just outside of Houston, and we cut it way back just before last year’s not-so-cold season. She reappeared with great abundance and blessed us with three crops of figs so far this year, with more babies on the branch. I recommend seeking someone who knows how to trim back your tree to preserve its growth energy after the loss, and to ensure a healthier harvest next year. Thanks for the recipe!

  136. The recipe I have is for southern fig preserves but it only calls for simmering on med heat for an hour covered then vent lid and cook for another 30 minutes…im on the last 30 mins and it doesnt look like my syrup is thickening…will it eventually or do i need to cook till it eventually does? first time making fig preserves!

    • Of course I’m going to say cook it like my recipe recommends!!! We like ours kinda thick, not running off the biscuit, lol! So, let it go a little longer, just don’t scorch it. Good luck!

  137. This is my 3rd year to make this recipe and everyone loves it! Some of my favorite memories are with my best friend since 2nd grade- we would go to Mamou to visit her grandmother and pick/eat her figs until we were sick! She loves your recipe and her mom says it’s the best she’s had because it reminds her of when she was a kid. I’m making a huge batch today. My figs (like my blueberries) are ripening earlier than years past and I couldn’t be more happy b/c I have surgery scheduled right after the 4th and I was worried that it was right smack in the middle of fig season- priorities, right? I’ll get one batch in before so I’m very happy! In fact, my same friend is coming over while I’m recovering to make the next batch so they don’t go to waste 🙂 I’m curious too about the proper way to prune a fig tree. Mine is doing great but it’s so tall, I wonder if I should prune it down some. Thanks so much & take care!

    • Oh, I love this story! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I still hold that canning and preserving really does carry on a heritage through the generations. I mean, how many people will remember a jar of jelly they bought at the store, right? But long after the preserves are savored, the empty jars sit, waiting for the next season and remind us of what we had and what is to come. Since you are about the third person to mention pruning, it’s time I get my extension agent to come down and show me exactly what needs to be done, and I will do a blog post about it. That means, you should go to the home page of this blog and sign up for email notifications. Besides, I would love to have you as a regular reader, and I think you will enjoy life down the bayou since you are already a kindred spirit, Frances! Thanks again for taking the time to share, and I hope all goes well with your surgery and your “Recovery Fig Preserves” with your old friend. I look forward to hearing from you again! BW

  138. My fig preserves come out either too thin or so thick that they “candy”. It would be helpful to know what temperature is right for them to be considered “done”.

    • I’m sorry you had a bad experience Norma, but I don’t know the exact temperature, having always judged by the color of the figs and thickness of syrup. Too thin just means you didn’t cook long enough. Candied means you cooked them on too high a temperature. Wish I could be of more help. I just finished a batch this morning, and they were great. Remember, though, since you are not using any pectin, the syrup will not be “thick”. You might just think it’s too thin, but it will be fine once it “sets up” for a while. And once the jar is opened and refrigerated, the liquid becomes much thicker. Good luck! BW

  139. I always have leftover syrup and instead of just canning the syrup to use on pancakes and the like, can I had pectin to the leftover syrup to make a jelly? If so how much?

  140. I just happened onto your site when I came on the internet to find a recipe for making fig preserves. I haven’t had any fresh figs for around 20 years or more. I asked at the Senior Center just this week if a couple of my friends knew anyone that had bushes and guess what?, a couple at the table with us had one. So, I had a little conversation with the gentleman and got a call this morning that I could come and pick the figs. My husband and I went and picked them and told the man if there was another picking and he didn’t have anyone to come pick them to just give us another call. Your recipe sounds exactly like the one I used to have and use, except I can’t remember if I put lemon in them or not. I know I did in watermelon rind preserves. I am 75 years
    “young”, but I was sure ready to go pick figs when I got a chance. I plan to start the preserving process this afternoon and I might just let them stay overnight in the crockpot so I will have time to get my jars and canning paraphenalia together. I remember the first time I was going to make the watermelon rind preserves, I was able to call my Mother to refresh my memory. I can’t do that now as she has been gone for 23 years. Sorry this is so long, but I enjoyed reading ALL the others so much, I had to get in on it. Thank you.
    Mabel on July 14, in SC.

    • Well hello Mabel in SC. Welcome to the bayou, and your long comment is more than welcome! And literary music to my eyes! I’m so glad you chose this recipe and stayed here long enough to leave a comment. Leaving them in the crock is a good idea to give you time to get everything together!!! I hope it goes well for you, and you don’t have to use the lemon! I hope you come back and become a regular contributor to our activity here! It’s great to have you! Thanks so much! BW

  141. I was happy to find your site with a recipe for fig preserves. I love to have my recipe in hand when making them. Some of my recipes are kinda “vaguely accurate” in my mind. Thanks for the info. Like your site and will come back to ramble around.

  142. Whenever I think of figs, I think of my Grandmother who put up a many a quart of figs while taking care of my brother and me during my mothers illness in the mid 60’s in Port Arhtur Texas. We had a huge tree in our yard and picked figs for what seemed like weeks. So when I started to search for a recipe for my neighbors loaded fig tree to try to make her preserves for the first time, I came across your site and new right away that she probably gave you your recipe! She lived right up the road form you in Woodville, Mississippi. Anyway, I made a quadruple batch yesterday and they turned out perfect. Thanks for the memories! Chesapeake, Virginia

    • Hooray for the quadruple batch! Glad you found this recipe that matches your grandmother’s and brings back so many fond memories! thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, and I’m so glad you like the recipe! BW

  143. I moved to North Carolina in 2007. The first tree I planted was a Brown Turkey fig. Planting the tree was followed by four years of the hottest, driest weather ever recorded. My two fig trees suffered. Finally this year I have enough figs to make a couple of quarts of fig preserves. Your recipe is similar to my grandmothers except for the lemon. She was a purist, figs, sugar and water. She passed away 60 years ago so I hope she will forgive me for adding lemon to a small batch as an experiment in taste. Great web site and excellent photos.

    • Thanks a lot for sharing your story, Charlie. I do have another fig recipe posted that is just plain figs, sugar, and water. The lemon, as you say, is just an added twist, and the candied lemon slices are really good! Glad your hard work finally paid off! BW

    • Charlie, I planted a brown turkey fig tree for my husband’s 50th birthday several years ago. As it grew and started putting on fruit our Labrador retrievers discovered the fruit… needless to say we rarely, if ever got a fig off the tree! They were devoured by the dogs.

      I do have to comment on the above recipe. My grandmother, like Charlie’s was a purist (figs, sugar, NO water). Just the sweetest, tastiest fig preserves that were soft and spreadable, with a few whole ones here and there.

      Thanks guys for posting this since I lost my grandmother’s handwritten recipe! You would think that I would not have to refer to a recipe that only had two ingredients. But I have a hard time remembering the Fig:Sugar ratios.

      I’m heading to the kitchen to get busy! Thanks again!!

      • Hi Carla, and welcome to the bayou and this blog! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad to see you are carrying on your grandmother’s fig preserve tradition. That’s what it’s all about, right? Happy preserving!!! BW

  144. Unlike Charlie, I grew up in NC and just recently turned 65. I grew up on the tail end of where people were almost completely self sufficient. My grandmother had a wood cookstove and we cannned and preserved almost everything on it. My grandfather and me loved pear and fig preserves, we would sneak into the kitchen to steal us a hot biscuit filled with hot preserves, before being run out of the kitchen by the women. Their recipes were kept in their minds and always turned out perfect. We never used lemons in those days while preserving, because they were too expensive, but now I use lemons in my recipes. Our oldest daughter is now interested in this gardening and preserving stuff, so maybe I can get her to come help me do some canning. Thanks for the recipes and the stories.

    • Oh, thank YOU for your story! I hope your daughter does come and help you and carry on the tradition. Yes, lemons were too expensive, so Mother never used them, either. Please come back anytime! Carry on, Eddie!!! BW

  145. Hello, I live in rural France and we have two old fig trees that bear fantastic amounts of figs every year. Since everyone else has fig trees too, you can’t even give the fruit away, but I hate to waste them so I’ve just been looking for a good recipe for jam or preserves. Plain fig jam is sometimes a bit too sweet for my taste, so the idea of using the lemon slices sounds marvellous! I’m going to give it a try tomorrow morning.
    Thanks so much also to all the people who have left wonderful memories of the fig jams in their own and their families’ past—so nice to read, and I will think of you all when I’m making my own jam tomorrow!

    • Oh, Kathy, you live in rural France? May I go visit? I hope the lemon provides the right balance for you. Since you have an over-abundance of figs, maybe experiment with using less sugar in this recipe and see how it goes? Then come back here and report what you did so others can know if it worked or not. Seems we’ve formed a little “fig preserve network” here, and you are most welcome to be here, too. Welcome to the bayou, and come back as often as you like to read what’s going on in rural, coastal Louisiana. BW

  146. Thank you very much for all the info. I am in my 68th year now and part of my childhood was spent in a one room simple place in the hills of Kentucky where there was no electricity, wood stove, outhouse but we had a pump in the sink. One of the best things was going out to pick blackberries and my Aunt May would make cobbler from them and can them for later like she did with everything. Yumm. I have canned on and off ever since but wish I knew how much I would want to know her recipes but I was 5 or so…

    Just a couple of days ago I went to a friends home and was invited to ‘Please take as many figs as you think you can use home with you” and ‘Madge’ helped me pick 6 lbs of them. Then I found your recipe. I used half the weight of sugar, 3lbs, guestimating all the way, I sliced up some lemons and put everything on High in my crockpot until it was boiling pretty good then turned it on low and left it for about 10 hours (they were gently simmering when I checked b/4 bed) , overnight, at which point they looked pretty much what your pic looked like and tasted great.

    As a treat for my friend “Madge” I canned her a quart and then made up a batch of biscuit dough but with a tbl of sugar, then rolled them out pretty thin 1/4 ” or so and used my biggest biscuit cutter can ( about 3 1/2 in.diameter) cut out circles and plopped 1/2 juicy fig on it topped with another round of dough sealing edges by pressing w/fork tines & sprinkled w/ a little sugar. Baked @ 450 for about 15 min. until golden brown. Madge really liked them, so did I, simple and scrumptious.

    Ps,

    I am in the Los Angeles area now where I still have some of my own figs ripening, tree is only a couple of years old and yes, the squirrels still get an awful lot of mine. I would love to hear about your excursions into the wetlands, maybe there is a link on the site?

    Thanks again,
    Jim-.

    • Jim, welcome to the bayou and what wonderful thoughts you’ve shared with us. And you made some little fig tarts, fantastic! You found this recipe on my blog, and in order to read my wetland excursions, all you have to do is hit the HOME tab at the top menu of my blog. That will give you the current story. From there, you can either browse the categories/months on the left-hand menu OR just keep scrolling down and keep on reading stories from now going backwards!!! Welcome to the bayou, and I hope you become a regular reader, Jim. Here is the most recent story on the Home Page of this blog called Bayou Woman: Life in the Louisiana Wetlands. http://bayouwoman.com/2012/10/01/bayou-woman-adventure-of-another-kind/
      I’m glad you used the recipe and gave us a new and great way to use it!!! I’ll try it next season! BW

      • PS Jim. Inspired by you, a lady from France used the Crockpot method with great success, as well. So, the next fig preserve recipe will be one for using your crockpots, and I can’t wait to post it next early summer! Thanks again for sharing!

        • Hi,

          So my second batch came out very nice too. I did get a chance to read a lot more of your adventures, and am just a bit jealous. I have lived in a lot of places and countries, hunting & fishing in all of the places we lived. When I was young we (lived in Guam, on a Navy base) used to go to the beach w/ a bunch of people and catch a huge bunch of crabs boil them up in enormous pots and eat them. Like you, I have caught, been bitten, poked & scraped many times and never heard of anything like the flesh eating thing you got caught with. I am glad to know about this as I still go out for crabs and mussels now and again and will be very alert now for this possibility. Congratulations on getting through it and thanks for sharing.

          Jim-

  147. Hi, BW, thank you so much for posting your recipe—it worked a treat! After reading about people using crockpots, I cooked my jam in a very low oven for about 8 hours, then as it was late I covered it and left it to cool overnight and just simmered it for 15 minutes or so this morning to make sure the syrup was properly thickened. All worked perfectly, and I now have two small jars and one large one cooling on the worktop. Gave a little bit to my husband on some fresh bread and it got the seal of approval :-)))

    Several people have asked about the recipe by weight. I too am used to weight, not volume, so when I made this I tried to make a reasonable conversion and here is what I used:

    4 cups whole figs = 850 grams = 2 pounds weight
    2 cups sugar = 400 grams = 16 oz.
    1 cup water = 450 ml. = 1 scant cup Imperial (an Imperial cup is 9 liquid ounces, an American cup is 8 liquid ounces)

    These are bit approximate, but the recipe came out fine so they’re close enough.

    I’ve picked 12 pounds of figs in the last 24 hours, and more to come, so I’ve made your jam, some spicy fig relish, and some very traditional French fig jam—and I have another double batch of your jam on the go already! Might try adding some fresh ginger to one of them as someone suggested.

    All the best from the Perigord!

    • Super! This is fantastic! Love and greatly appreciate this kind of feedback and sharing. So, folks, it’s a done deal. CROCKPOT Fig preserves are here to stay. Next summer, Kathy, I will be putting up a new recipe using this very method and also showing conversions to weights, so thank you very much for sharing that information. I’m glad the recipe/method worked well for you. Let us know how the ginger flavor works out as well. Happy preserving! BW

  148. BW, my guess is that the crockpot approach is even better than the normal one as it cooks the figs so gently they retain their shape. if I could add one more thing: I was a bit nervous about part-cooking the jam and then leaving it overnight; but it came out fine. To me that’s yet another big plus for this recipe, since quite often, especially with long cooking times, it’s hard to do it all in one day.

    I wanted to try adding ginger, but my husband said ‘No, no, it’s perfect just the way it is!’ Who am I to quarrel with that?!?

    By the way, one of the traditional ways to serve fig jam here is with foie gras, the pate made from the livers of specially fattened ducks and geese. Out here in the country lots of people make this themselves, and it is very often served with crusty fresh bread, a dollop of fig jam and glass of chilled sweet white wine. I think you could substitute any rich, mild pate and get the same effect. Try it sometime!

    As a vegetarian I don’t eat pate, so I replace the pate with a fresh slightly tangy youngish cheese and it’s delish!

  149. I just used your recipe, however on a more larger scale so to speak. My neighbor has a fig tree and had no idea what to do with them and I said oh we are going to make preserves like my grandmother use to in Georgia.

    So, i searched the internet to find the recipe that sounded the best and we came across yours. I however altered it a bit. We had 102 cups of figs, 28 cups of water, 30 cups of organic raw sugar, 1 bottle of raw Meadow Foam honey( indigenous to the NW of Oregon) 7 large cinnamon sticks 1 large heaping tablespoon of ground cardamom, 1/4 cup of chopped fresh ginger and 25 pinches of salt and of course 8 lemons sliced thin. Honestly this sweet nectar smelt so good the neighbors were stopping over to find out if we were making candy as we simmered it on our outside stove on the back porch. The color turned out great and a flavor is out of this world. Thank you for the simple basics that made our preserves out of this world delicious.

    • WOW! What a great undertaking. I guess I would be overwhelmed at the point that this much preserve was ready to put in hot, sterile jars, be sealed, and then boiled again! How in the world did you have the resources to do such a huge batch? How many jars WAS THAT? And how did you granny bath all of them at once? Sounds so good, though. I’d love to try something so different! Thanks for sharing your story of BIG FIG preserves! BW

  150. I have enjoyed reading your blog and making your fig preserves! The fig preserve recipe is delicious! I am a Gulf Coast resident and live on East Bay in Navarre, FL. I love this Gulf Coast life and enjoy my time fishing, crabbing and kayaking on this beautiful water! So neat to meet like spirits! Will keep up with your blog and enjoy reading your posts!

    • Hey Lisa and welcome to the bayou! Yes, it is great to meet a kindred spirit. I’m so glad to have you come back and visit. And really happy that you enjoy making the preserves. It’s indeed a lost art that keeps us connected to an earlier time and family members! BW

  151. I live in India and fresh figs are rare here. There are hardly any local recipes with fresh figs. Since I have a lot of figs in my garden, I was searching for a recipe to preserve them and came across your recipe. I tried it (along with a few ingredients like cinnamon and honey from Regina’s recipe) and it was simply delicious.

    • Wow, India? Do you know what kind of figs you have? And what month do they ripen? I’m so curious about figs in other parts of the world. Thank you for writing, and I’m so glad you like the recipe. There are several others on this site as well that you might try!

  152. My Grandmother on me Father’s side wasn’t much o’ a cook – though she made a few things traditional to her homeland in the Mediterranean crescent – and the best was Nuts & Figs preserve! As I recall it was small pieces o’ Walnuts she added to a fig preserve much like yours. As it happens, we are attempoting to grow a fig tree in our Northern port (there is someone who sells trees here, so clearly it’s possible – though we bought ours elsewhere). It’s a variety called the “Hardy Chicago Fig” (http://bit.ly/18wCnG4)…we’ll let ye know how it goes, it’s only a wee one right now!

    • Capt. I made about 3 dozen small jars of fig conserves a few years back that used figs and chopped walnuts. I have tried to find the recipe again and simply cannot remember where I found it. I didn’t have a computer at the time so, it had to have been in one of my many cookbooks. I think it had citrus in it too.Wish I could find it again. My neighbor does not use her figs and they are they large turk figs.I get as many as I want and she gets plums from my tree.

  153. Our figs are extremely sweet off the tree – like eating a candy bar! Is it ok to eliminate the sugar altogether or will that impact the “set” in the jar? Also, does raw honey work in the place of sugar?

    • The sugar is the actual preserving agent. If you want to use less sugar, then I recommend buying Sure-Jel and see if their recipe uses less sugar. And I’m not sure about the honey. Never tried it and have not done any research on doing so! Good luck!

  154. I’m wondering about a yellow mushroom-like growth in my fig container. I live in the northeast and we have had really hot & dry weather followed by extremely wet & humid weather. Any ideas about what this fungus is & how to get rid of it?

    • If you are finding this in an “unopened” jar of figs that you canned, then your jars did not seal properly and I would not consume them at all. So, please give me more details.

  155. I am back for a second year. Had to use your recipe again. Just picked my first batch of figs and am cooking them as we speak. I am from Texas. Your recipe is the closest to my Aunt Frieda’s from Jennings that I have found. It is great. Enjoy your website.

    • Hey Karen! Great to have you back two years in a row! I picked my first gallon yesterday and second today. Going to make my preserves tomorrow (Monday). Looking forward to it! I’m so glad you like the recipe and that it’s close to your aunt’s. It’s great to keep this tradition going, don’t you think?

  156. Are you aware that a whole bunch of your comments aren’t visible? My blog entries disappeared the same way last night, and then my comments. Also, the background behind some of your comments has turned black rather than white. Very strange. If the problems are visible to you, you might post about it over at the forums so they know the problem still is lurking around.

    Some people couldn’t post comments on my blog this morning. We’ll see if this goes through.

  157. Canned 21 jars at the end of last week, using this recipe. And it sure looks like I’m going to have at least that many this week!!! Love this recipe, but am thinking I’ll try the mock strawberry with this batch!

    • You and yours will really like the strawberry. I haven’t found anyone yet, child or adult, who didn’t love these preserves, too!!! I’m wonder, though, since you are farther north than I am, how your figs ripened BEFORE mine? That is not common, unless you have a very early fig.

  158. When I lived down the Bayou at the Falgout Canal Bridge, Katrina blew over my 30 foot wide LSU Gold Fig tree. Some were nearly the size of tennis balls and oh so sweet. Those were the day my friend. Raoul

  159. Your fig preserves look so beautiful in that golden color….just right! I so wish my tree would have produced the figs they made to maturity, but they stopped maturing about two weeks ago. They are still on the tree, just not growing anymore. 🙁 I did a little research and found out that it was due, more than likely, to too much nitrogen. This year was the first year I fertilized my trees… I’ll never fertilize them again. Just mulch and make sure they have enough water, which we don’t have to worry about this year with all this rain we’ve been having. I’m also going to take a cutting when the sap is down and make some more trees… With all that said, now I’m on the hunt for fresh figs… Anyone out there have some figs they can spare??? My mouth is watering, lol… 🙂

  160. Well, I’m still having trouble seeing the comments, but I’ve described the troubles over at the WP forum, so we’ll see what they have to say.

    What I did bring you is a savory recipe for figs – a fig relish. I use it for things like grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, or with pork loin, or with assorted cheese and crackers as appetizers. The figs are in here, too, and I brought two pounds home from the market. This is how I did it.

    Fig Relish

    2 lb figs, stemmed and quartered or halved
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/4 c water
    2 teaspoon mustard seed
    1 tsp celery seed
    2 teaspoon dry mustard
    pinch salt and ground black pepper

    Put it all in a pan, bring to a boil, and simmer until it’s reduced and thick enough to serve as an addition to sandwiches or appetizers. Yum!

    • Never heard of fig relish but, it sounds like it would be delicious. Wonder how it would taste brushed on chicken and grilled?

      • I think it would be great. If you wanted to use it as a grilling glaze, you could either not reduce it so much, or add a little water to what you wanted to use. I cooked this long enough that it reduced down to a pint – but that’s enough for plenty of sandwiches, grilled chicken, appetizers, etc. You could double or triple the recipe if you had the figs, as it keeps so long in the refrigerator.

        • I bet it would be a good glaze for a pork loin roast too. I’ve been using pepper jelly to coat pork for a long time now but fig sounds good too.

    • Linda, do you have a little history behind this recipe? It’s the first of its kind I ever hear of, and I’m quite intrigued by it. Actually, I’m thinking if I have enough figs after I’ve made another bath of regular preserves, that I will try this. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!!! We love new things.

      • And I’m wondering if someone wanted to put some up, how long to pressure can it? Can someone make a suggestion? Maybe follow pressure canning times for something like tomato relish/chow chow?

      • It’s a bit of an invention. For years – since the early 70s – I’ve been making a pickled cabbage slaw. It’s just a pile of finely chopped cabbage, onion, bell pepper, celery and carrot. You make the dressing, pour the hot dressing over the veggies and stick it in the refrigerator in a glass or pottery bowl. It lasts for about two weeks in the fridge if you don’t eat it up faster than that.

        Here’s the salad dressing recipe:

        1/2 c. vinegar
        1/2 c. water
        1 c. sugar
        2 tsp mustard seed
        1 tsp celery seed
        1 tsp tumeric
        salt and pepper to taste

        Bring to a boil, simmer until the sugar is well-dissolved, then pour over vegetables.

        As you can see, I adapted it a bit – increased the sugar, got rid of the tumeric, added the powdered mustard, etc. I tried it first with fresh apricots. That was pretty good. Then I got the idea to try it with figs. It was double-yummy! And that’s the story. 😉

        • Soooo, you shared a “Varnish Gal” original recipe with us? What a fabulous birthday present. You didn’t know you were giving me a birthday gift, but you were! I have to get mustard seed and dry mustard when I go to town today, pick a few more figs, and make this tomorrow! Thanks, Linda.

          • Well, lookie there! Happy birthday! And yes, I guess that’s about as original a recipe as I’ll ever come up with – well, except for my world’s best-ever pecan pie that uses a French custard of sugar, eggs and butter to get around the need for corn syrup. 😉

            I had some of the relish last night and it was double-yum. It occurred to me that anyone who wanted certainly could try adding some pepper to it, too, for a little heat to balance the sweetness.

  161. Hey everyone. My batch turned out great, and 3 hours was perfect, but I cut the water in half this time. I picked almost a gallon again this morning but since it’s my BIRTHDAY, I’ve got other plans than making preserves today. I’ll be back at it Wednesday morning. The birds are really winning this year. They’ve totally broken our agreement, so I guess next February/March I will be climbing on the ladder placing shiny disposable flattened pie plates to ward them off and maybe even a plastic owl. Hey, figs are valuable!!1

      • Oh, well, shoot, I guess it’s time to plan a new one this fall? I failed to cut the underbrush out of this one this past spring, so I need to do that this winter. I’m sorry you don’t have figs. I really am. Thanks for the birthday wish, and I did have a very happy one!

  162. Yesterday while getting some jars down for my daughter-in-law, I found a case of figs I’d canned a few years ago (actually 2010)! The color is good, but I’m wondering if they are still good to eat. Readers?

    • I don’t know what everyone else will say, but I say YES! If the seals are still tight (and you don’t see anything fuzzy growing inside), then they should be fine!!!! What a great find! Goodie for you!!!!!

  163. I used your fig preserve recipe last year and it was perfect! Thank you for the sucess. It was my 1st time canning.
    Now this year, I am trying your’ strawberry fig preserves and I know it will be another success.

    • Yippee!!! Another satisfied canner hooked on the art of preserving foods for her family! I’m really happy to hear this news! Thanks so much, Ginger, for coming back and letting me know that this went so well for you! Good luck with the strawberry—they will love it!

  164. Did somebody mention fresh fig ice cream? Well, I haven’t tried it yet, but here’s a recipe posted in BR newspaper:
    Here we go:
    Fresh Fig Ice Cream
    Cynthia L. Nobles
    Makes 1 quart.
    2 lbs. fresh, ripe figs (about 20), stemmed and coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 cup honey
    1 tbl. fresh lemon juice
    1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
    1 cup whole milk
    1 tbl. cornstarch
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 eggs
    1 cup cold heavy cream
    1 tbl. vanilla extract
    1. In a medium saucepan, bring figs, water, honey and lemon juice to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat, covered, 10 minutes. Remove cover and cook until mixture is very thick and liquid is mostly evaporated, about 5-10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool.
    2. In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk, whole milk, cornstarch and salt, and stir until cornstarch dissolves. Whisk over medium heat until boiling. Reduce to a simmer and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
    3. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup hot milk mixture. Return milk mixture to low heat and slowly whisk in egg mixture. Cook over very low heat 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
    4. Stir heavy cream into custard mixture and strain into a medium bowl. Stir in vanilla and figs. Refrigerate until completely cool.
    5. Pour fig custard into ice cream canister and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.
    Copyright © 2011, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved
    Reply

  165. Making fig preserves this wkend for second year in a row. I like the lemon slices “candied” in them. This year trying FROG jam, Fig, Raspberry, Orange juice and Ginger. Wish me luck. Had no idea how easy it is to make jams and preserves, wish I had done all my life. My friends love them. Nice recipe and website.

    • FROG jam! I love the sound of that. If I could get my LilSis to freeze me some figs (mine are finished already), I would like to try this, too. Do you have a recipe with quantities? Or are you winging it? If it turns out well, why not come back and share the specifics with us? We love new stuff with figs!! Isn’t canning great? And be sure and pass the love of it along to a young woman in your life! Thanks for the comment, Gayle!

      • That sounds delicious! Please share the recipe. I found a recipe last night for Fig Almond Bread! Can’t wait to try it.

  166. I’ve been using your basic recipe since I discovered it a few yrs ago. I recently purchased a pressure cooker, 6qt. has anyone tried cooking the figs w/ a PC? Enjoy your site/blog…..

    • Barbara, I haven’t ever tried that. I guess I’m not very adventurous when it comes to fixing something that ain’t broke! Meaning, I use the pressure “canner” to do just that—pressure can jars of veggies, stews, etc. I guess it would cook them more quickly, but I’m not sure of the results. I wonder if the manual says anything about cooking fruit? Great question, though! I’m glad you’ve been using the recipe and like it! Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know.

  167. Hi there, we spoke in Feb when I was looking for a recipe to preserve my figs. It worked really well but I did adapt the recipe slightly. I will be making again this coming summer. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  168. Thanks this its the first recipes found for such a small amount… it works great.. once again thanks If I could kiss your mouth I would..lol

  169. why so much sugar in the figs, they are so sweet anyway. have you ever used splendi to make the preservers ? my neighbors gave me the figs because they are not able to make anything with them and they have high blood sugar. i would like to make them some preservers, do you have recipe for that?

  170. Hi, Bayou Woman,
    I’m new here and am looking forward to trying your old fashioned recipe! I was also interested in the mock strawberry/raspberry recipe, but when I click the link, I get a “not found” message. Would you please repost that recipe? Thanks so much.
    Bonnie in NC

  171. I’ve used your recipe for the base but, I add a bit of cinnamon and cardamom. They are the best figs in the history of fig preserves! Thanks for the recipe base.

    • Wonderful, Bridget! And folks love to see what others are doing and experiment with ideas. This is a great place to see what others have done and whether that might be something you and yours would like! Thanks for coming back and sharing your twist on this old faithful recipe! BW

  172. Tried your recipe and ended up with 4 half pint jars. In the photos, some of yours look like pints and some half pints. I only cooked them for about an hour and they are almost candied. Delicious. Looks like there are lots of variables in the recipe and that’s okay. Thanks for your blog! Aren’t figs just addicting….

    • Vaughan, yes they are addictive! There are variables, but sometimes the variables depend on the water content of your figs. Also, how high the heat source. And others, so yes you are right! glad you like them, but an hour sure seems a short time for them to be almost candied!! But as long as you like them, that is ALL that matters! Thanks for stopping by and giving us some helpful feedback, Vaughn!

  173. Thank you so much for this recipe! My mother used to make these exact same preserves, and I always looked forward to canning day so I could eat some of the lemon slices (she always put in extra for me) directly out of the “fridge” jar. She passed away several years ago, but right now I have a pot of her/your preserves simmering away, and I know she’s smiling down on me!
    Susan

    • Oh, Susan, your comment goes into my “favorites” pot of comments. Your word do m heart good to know we are both carrying on a tradition handed down (sometimes indirectly) from our mothers, grands, and great grands. What a beautiful, productive way to carry on her legacy! Please come back down the bayou to visit any time! BW

  174. Someone brought me more ripe figs than I could safely eat, so I was delighted to find your straightforward recipe, where I could also use one of my numerous Meyer lemons. However, starting with 4 cups of figs, I ended up with only 2 half pints (+ a half jar) of preserves. I came back to your site to see if maybe i was supposed to use 4qts or pounds. Any thoughts?

    • If you want more yield, then double the recipe!!! It’s all about water content of the figs AND how thickly you pack them into the jars! If the figs don’t break up, they take more space in the jar and some folks like whole figs in the jar. If they fall apart, then the end result is more compacted in the jar, yielding less. So, it’s hard to make this an exact science since your results might vary each time. So, double it up and see what happens for more yield!!!

  175. Hi BW! I have been experimenting with different recipes this month and looking on internet I ran across your “Just Plain Old-Fashioned Fig” recipe. I followed it exactly but only came out with 3 one-half pints and very thick syrup. Also rind on lemon slices were very hard. I must have done something wrong as there was not even enough syrup to cover the figs. What did I do wrong???

    • It’s all about the water content of the figs and how much you add. If your figs are dry and you don’t add enough water (how will you know?), then you will get more of a candied effect. But since this isn’t an exact science (or exact recipe like baking), it’s a learn-as-you-go. I’m sorry you had this trouble, but it’s always better to have more water than not enough, resulting in a little extra syrup left over after all the figs are in the jars. So, if you have the figs, you might want to try again, making sure you slow cook them and not too hard and fast. I hope this helps, Loretta!

      • Thank you, I will add more water next time and perhaps more figs as only 3 one half pints turned out. However, I did eat some today and they are delicious just more like candy!

        • Sounds like a good plan to me. And you have me wondering if maybe my jars are half pint and in the post I referred to them as pints. I’m just not very good at knowing what’s what, except I do know a quart jar when I see one! How many ounces are in a pint jar???? So, you should have had 4 half pints, then. I think I might need to correct my post.

          • Now I am confused! A pint jar is 8 ozs. or two cups My smaller jars also say 8 ozs,on the box, but they only hold one cup. Anyway, I use the small jars which I consider 1/2 pints. I do this because when I give them as gifts, if they don’t like them, then I am not wasting a lot.

            I think a quart is 16 ozs or 4 cups, a pint, 8 ozs or 2 cups and 4 ozs or 1 cup in one half pint jars. 4 cups = 1 qt, 2 cups= 1 pint, and 1 cup =one/half pt. I will get it right one of these days! I have enjoyed this fig season as it is the first year I have had so many. I think the amount of rain we have had here in Alabama has helped.

            • I looked it up after my last reply to you, and changed the recipe to say 4, half-pint, but it’s just not exact, and I haven’t paid attention to just how many of what size it makes; because like you, I sometimes use the half-pints so I can share with friends and family. Oh well, folks can just use what they have and hope for the best!!! No matter the size of jar, these preserves are delicious!

              • Hi BW! Just made another batch and used six cups of figs three cups of sugar and more water. Cooked them for 2 hours instead of 3 and they look great! Also I got 4 half pints this time. The other ones I made a couple of days ago are delicious but like candy!!

              • Great job, Loretta! And thanks so much for reporting back. There’s a lot of useful information in the comment section from folks just like yourself who had to experiment and tweak a little! So wonderful!!!

              • Ha ha,thanks, but I had looked it up the day in question! I just don’t think about things like that . . . . guess I was always slow in all kinds of math : ) Convenient to have right here, tho. Thanks!

            • I have two fig trees in my yard (one golden fig tree and one purple fig tree). I made this recipe today using a mixture of both figs and it made 6 half-pint jars. (A half pint is equal to one cup which is equal to 8 ounces). I love this recipe and will make it again next year!

  176. Hey there, Bayou Woman! Thanks for your awesome recipes! I had never eaten figs or fig preserves before, but my fiance is a farm-raised gentleman who grew up with figs growing right in his yard and he LOVES them! We live at and take care of the family farm now, an since I can any and everything remotely cannable since I started canning a few few years back, I decided to make your fig preserves for him. I started with your mock raspberry preserves and they were great! Today, I ventured on to this one, and was hoping that you (or one of your lovely readers) might see this post and be able to help me with an issue I ran into…
    I realized several hours into the cooking down process that I miscalculated my water addition by a 1/3 or 1/4 of a cup (maybe a little less) more than I was supposed to when I put it all in he pot initially. Is it ok to keep cooking down on an extremely low heat until it all thickens up no matter how long it takes? Or will that ruin it? HELP!!!!

    • Hi Dani, If you would like you may spoon some of it out, but I know you’re way finished by now. But it’s always fine to have extra syrup left over when the jars are filled. Also, it doesn’t have to be that thick in order to still be enjoyable and render wonderful tasting preserves! I hope they turned out well. Again, it’s a guessing game on the water depending on the water content of your figs, and you just never know about that!!! Trial and error, but short of burning them, it’s hard to ruin these preserves!!! And by the way, it pleases me to hear you say that you’re now taking care of the family farm AND you can everything you can can (sounds like a dance)!!!! Thanks for stopping by, for using this recipe, and for asking your questions here! BW

  177. Hi, I just found your blog and made my first batch of Old Fashioned Fig Preserves this afternoon with my BFF! My jars are pinging away as I type this! After getting the last summer canning itch (I mean once you have all the jars, etc. pulled out you might as well can everything you think of!), I put out a plea for figs on FB and my local FB friends came though with several locations of available fig trees. I made mock strawberry jam yesterday, just like my mom made my whole life…I do not think I ever had “real” strawberry jam growing up, the mock jam made with figs is SO much better! Anyway thanks for posting the recipes…happy canning!!!

    • Oh, well, Malinda, this is music to my ears!!! Thanks so much for typing while your lids were pinging. Where are you located? Because I had the same idea yesterday . . . everything is still out . . . and a good friend picked Muscadine grapes from his wild vines and delivered them to me, so I couldn’t let them go to waste. I now have 8 jars of beautiful grape jelly that I didn’t have two days ago. And yes, I am a HAPPY CANNER! So, happy canning back to you and thanks so much for stopping by the bayou and saying hi! BW

      • Hi, I am in Raleigh, NC. Our figs come on July 4th and Labor Day so I have begged, borrowed and stole to get some to put up! I am entering my/your whole fig preserves at the NC State Fair in October, I will let you know if I place!!! As I said my mom made “mock” strawberry preserves out of figs my whole life, but I have not made them since she passed away 8 years ago (Sept. 19th), yesterday was like having her back beside me if only for a couple of hours as I made the mock strawberry preserves…thank you for letting me re-live those hours I spent in the kitchen with my mom. 🙂

        • Oh, you touched my heart. Canning and preserving is a continuation, isn’t it? I’ve been made fun of before for canning with comments like, “Why would you go to all that trouble? A can of green beans is only 79 cents.” But those ladies have missed out on a heritage of their great-great grandmothers, or maybe even just one generation. So, I just smile and let them think I’m weird, but I just really feel sorry for them, because I think these are traditions of our ancestors that kept them through the cold winters in some places; traditions that bound the women of the family together. And your comment just proved that . . . . you had your mother with you for several hours while you made fig preserves or mock strawberry. What a wonderful blessing, and thank you so much for sharing. Good luck at the state fair, and I’d love to see a pic of the ribbon on your winning jar! Your new canning friend, BW.

    • Hey Crystal . . . you just have to watch for them. I always check the grocery store when I go to see if they have something seasonal. What happens is you usually have to buy the box of sets (bands and lids) together. Then the problem next year is, they never just sell the lids to match the bands! So, I just keep the bands and use them over and over! So, short answer is no one particular place. Always check WalMart, Target, grocery stores, AND the hardware store!!!

  178. Hi, I just attempted this recipe and thought my figs were cooking great until I tried to can them, it was super thick and dark. Does this mean that I candied the figs?
    I would like some feedback so I can keep or get rid of and know what to do better for next time. Thanks

    • Hi Patty, I’m sorry you had some problems. This is the first time I’ve heard they were thick and dark, so maybe you did cook them too long. As I told someone before, it isn’t an exact science (or like a baking recipe) because there are variables–like how much or how little water content your figs might have. I guess they were somewhat dry and either needed a little more water or a little less cooking time. I think they would still be edible, but just adjust accordingly for next batches. If you would, come back and let us know what worked for you! Good luck! BW

    • Sounds like the perfect homemade “Fig Newton” filling to me. If you’ve never made a cookie or cake with fig filling, you have missed the boat!!! Delicious!!!

  179. I would like to try your recipe. It sounds really similar to the way my grandmother made her figs preserves but I have already mashed my figs. How many cups of mashed would you use and how much sugar?

    • Sorry it took me so long to reply (I don’t monitor blog via cell phone) but I was out all day yesterday until late evening. By now, you made a decision. I would say use the same amounts of figs and just increase the sugar by a little bit. The only thing the sugar does is make more syrup. You’ve already released the liquid from the figs by mashing them, but add a little more water if they seem to thick as they are cooking! Good luck!

  180. Love your recipe and I always use the lemon slices because they taste so delicious when you have a fig and a bite of lemon rind on your home made southern biscuit. I also make a recipe called Louisiana Pickled Figs if anyone wants to make something different, and especially delicious as a holiday garnish with ham or turkey. You make up the syrup the same as for preserves and season with 1/4-1/2 cup of apple vinegar. Add a cinnamon stick and whole cloves and they are they are outrageously delicious and make great gifts too.

    • Hi Sadie, and welcome to the bayou. Thanks so much for the helpful comment! So, when you make pickled figs, do you cook them about the same as for preserves? Sounds good! I might try some next year. Thanks again! And happy preserving! BW

      • Hi BW,
        I wanted to get back with you on my second batch of preserves. I used twice the amount of water just a guess based on the first batch. They turned out perfect and super delicious. I think the bulk of my problem is with the finicky old Jenn-air stove top.
        So the next batch I doubled and used 4 cups of water, way too much. It took forever cooking to cook it down to syrup texture.
        So I have learned that this is a trial and error. I love the preserves, so as long as my tree provides fruit I will continue to try to master this recipe.
        Thank you so much for the suggestions.

          • Sorry folks…I completely forgot to post the Fig Newton recipe. This is one that my grandmother used and the only thing I change is that I add lemon zest to the cookie part, if I happen to have fresh lemons around.
            1 c. sugar
            1/2 c. butter
            1/2 tsp. baking soda
            1/4 tsp. salt
            2 c. sifted flour
            1 egg, beaten
            1 tsp. vanilla
            Blend sugar and butter. Sift dry ingredients together, add alternately with beaten egg to sugar mixture. Add vanilla. Mix all together well…it should hold together like a sugar cookie mix…like a stiff dough. Cut into 2 or 3 equal parts (I have sometimes refrigerated at this point if I wasn’t ready to actually make the cookies). Roll to 1/8 inch thickness and about 5 inch wide by 12 inch long strip. In the center of a 5×12 inch strip, spread the cooked fig mixture. Fold one side of dough over the fig mixture, fold the other side to where they lap.
            Flip the folded side down on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. DON’T overbake…these will get too brown if you aren’t careful. Cut into bars while still warm.
            If you want you can also make this recipe as pinwheel cookies by rolling the dough out and spreading the fig preserves across the dough, then roll up the dough like you would a jelly roll. Cut the cookies and lay on a cookie sheet to bake. These come out crispier than a traditional fig newton.

            PS…I think we need to publish a Bayou Woman cookbook!!!! With a big fig section!!!

  181. I live in Derbyshire, UK. Usually, there are only a handful of figs on my trees- enough to eat fresh, and share out, as a treat, amongst family and friends. This year, the summer has been warm and long and we’re enjoying a brilliant fig harvest, helped along by a neighbour’s cat who has taken to ‘guarding’ the tree as blackbirds were helping themselves. So, for the first time, I’m looking for recipes! I’ve really enjoyed your website and am excited about making fig jam. I might even have enough to make fig newton too.

    • Julia, this is smashing news! Welcome to the bayou, and I’m glad you found something here that you enjoyed. Now, a fig-tree-guarding-cat is a very intriguing idea. I think I might have to employ one of those next summer, as the birds got the queen’s share from my tree this summer. I hope the recipe works well for you, and IF you make a batch of Newtons, please come back and let us know how it went. That is a reader recipe and untried in the BW kitchen, so we really want to know. Well, ta ta for now, Julia of Derbyshire!

  182. Hi, BW, I know this is an unseasonal comment, but your new year’s message reminded me of this recipe, and I’ve been meaning to write, so I’ll start by wishing you a very Happy New Year! Last summer our figs in France ripened very late (October) but I used both your fig recipes many times and everyone has loved the results 🙂 I also appreciated the suggestions from some others to add cardamom, cinnamon and chopped ginger; I’ll try that next year!

    I had so many figs this year that I froze quite a lot, and now that the holiday rush is abating I will make some more fig chutney. A gentleman posted a recipe here for fig relish, which sounded like much the same thing, and I had the impression that this use of figs wasn’t so common where you are. As you probably know, chutney was originally an Indian condiment, brought back to England during the Victorian era, and obviously goes perfectly with any curry, but is also great with any kind of cold meat or cheese. Adds a nice note to a pot of beans, too. I thought you might like a fig chutney recipe, so here’s the one I use (my measurements are metric so I’ve given approximate conversions):

    1.5kg figs quartered (about 3 lbs.)
    1 kg sugar (2-1/4 pounds, or about 4-1/2 cups)
    3 onions chopped roughly
    500g mixed raisins and sultanas (about 18 oz. weight)
    1 litre vinegar (about 1-3/4 pints), any kind will work: red or white wine, cider etc.
    2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    2 teaspoons paprika
    2 teaspoons Ground ginger
    2 teaspoons all spice
    2 tablespoons chilli sauce (sweet or not, as you like)
    6 garlic cloves crushed
    salt and pepper

    Place all ingredients together and bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 hours or more until thickened. (It won’t set like jam, but you should briefly see the bottom of the pan if you trail a spoon through the chutney.)

    Like all chutneys, almost everything about this is variable. It will work fine with slightly under-ripe figs. Depending on how juicy the figs are, you may need to reduce the vinegar. You can use chopped dates instead of raisins; vary the kind of vinegar; change the spices (e.g. add mustard seeds, or grated lemon zest, or finely chopped apple, or diced fresh chill etc). Some recipes say to cook everything except the figs until you get to the syrupy stage and then add the figs for 10-15 minutes of cooking, but I just throw it all in and it works fine.

    I really enjoy it because it’s a good way to use up the last figs that didn’t quite ripen, and the sweet-sour-spicy flavours go with so many different things. You might like to give it a try!

    • Kathy, it’s so great to hear from you! Wonderful comment, and educational, too! We really appreciate your sharing your tried and true chutney recipe. It is NOT a common use of figs in south Louisiana, but something I would like to try as well as other readers here. Maybe I’ll make it, find good south La. dishes that it compliments, and then feature your recipe in a post? Would that be okay with you? Happy new year to you also! Thanks again!

      • Thanks, BW, I always enjoy both your posts and all the lovely contributions that people post in reply. So many beautiful family memories are shared here.
        I feel a bit of a fraud with this one, as chutney is very common over here 😉 It can be made with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and goes very well with a chunk of cheese and fresh bread, or with cold meats or something like cold salmon–really any mild-flavoured food that benefits from a bit of sparking up. I’m sure there will be a good southern Louisiana dish that it would fit!
        When I do my next chutney in a couple of weeks I’ll refine the measurements (e.g. 1.5 kg is actually a bit more than 3 lbs, maybe 3 lbs 4 oz). If you email me your postal address I’d be happy to post a pot of it to you so you can see if you like it.
        And I’ll look out to see what you do with it. Knowing you, you may come up with some completely novel use for chutney that will be delish :-)))

        • Kathy, I have to apologize that the “spam bots” recognize your comments as spam and put them away in a place I visit infrequently to empty out. So, if you have signed in more than one way using two or more addresses or links, it will put your comments there. If you would sign in with one email address, they would always come through once I’ve “approved” at least two comments made with the same email log in. I think you should be fine now, and this morning I found 3 comments from you that were cached with the spam. Again, sorry this happened, as I love having you here as a reader and as a contributor with your wonderful comments! Happy New Year, Kathy!

    • Kathy – what are you calling chili sauce? Explain please for those of us in America who want to make your chutney but this can mean a couple different things here in Am. Thanks!

  183. Sounds delicious…I may just have to try this. I still have some leftover figs frozen, from this past summer. And I started some fig tree cuttings from my big tree this year…of course they won’t bear figs for a couple of years but I’m thinking I would like to have a fig orchard!!! Thanks Kathy for what looks like a great new recipe!

    • Give it a go, Amy, and let me know how it goes. Chutney is one of those store cupboard standards that you can pull out and put beside something like plain bread and cheese to make it much more interesting.
      And good luck with your fig orchard—but be careful what you wish for! I am staggered every year at how much a mature fig tree bears, there are times I think I can NEVER use it all, and I’ve only got four trees :-)))

    • Amy, give it a go! I’m pretty sure you’ll like it, the basic idea is so simple. Just use your common sense as regards which flavours you like and how much liquid to use, and you can’t really go wrong. Let me know how you get on!

  184. I just found your site and the recipe sounds like what my mother made when we were kids. My next door neighbor has a tree right by our fence and they don’t pick them so this year I have been picking like crazy and will be trying your recipe this weekend.
    Do you know if a crock-pot will work for the slow cooking?

    • Hi Beverly and welcome to the bayou. I hope by now you’ve made the recipe and all is well. We had a little trouble with the server today, but I hope you were till able to access the recipe. If not, here it is now! Go ahead and print it out! BW

  185. My last batch came out runny after cooing for 31/2 hrs. Can I open the jars and re-cook them. I think maybe the heat wasn’t high enough to thicken this batch.
    Thanks

    • Yes, you can do that. Did you add too much water? And make sure you had enough sugar. Something wasn’t quite right if they were still runny after that much cooking. Try again and I hope it goes well. Sorry you’re having troubles, though!

  186. Just put up 10 pints today! A sweet friend has 4 big trees and she shares with me. I would’ve helped you put up the netting over your trees. 😉

  187. Just found your site. I needed a good recipe and this looks like the recipe my mom used. I am originally from LA, and I know there are good recipes that come from there. I also got the chutney recipe off your site. It sounds good too. I just got some figs from one of my neighbors and I plan to make these preserves tomorrow. Thanks to your site, I know they will turn out just right. Martha

  188. I have 9 fig trees of all types from small brown to large (plum sized) LSU purple, and tangerine sized LSU gold. The trees are 9 yrs old 20’x20′ each and this year (2014) they have about 100-250+ lbs of figs on every tree, some more. I planted them for my Mother when I gave up a lucrative engineering career in Alaska to be her caregiver. After 14 yrs of caregiving my Mother passed away unexpectedly 5 months ago of drug-induced dementia…poly-pharmacy, killer pills given to the elderly to simulate Alzheimer’s so the insurance companies can take them off their books, limit them to nursing care or dangerous hospital stays that induce delirium and rob them of their will to live. She loved figs and I used a very similar recipe, with grapefruit sized lemons off our Ponderosa lemon tree. Hundreds of pounds have gone to waste this year. I finally found some neighbors who like them. I really miss making Mom homemade buttermilk biscuits, figs, eggs, and sausage with coffee for breakfast while she worked the crossword puzzle. I guess I need to move on and go back to corporate America. I miss my Mom and making her figs.

    • Your story pulls at my heart strings. I’m so sorry of your mother’s untimely departure and must admit I’d not heard of such a deliberate practice. That causes me great concern. Regardless, thank you for visiting with us, and I wish you well while you make preserves this year and may you have fond memories of your good times with you dear mother. BW

  189. Used the BW recipe for a few years now, always with great results. This year was no exception. No need to jar anything because, with only the one tree in the backyard, all its produce gets eaten as fresh or preserves. Alas, the tree has put out its last for the season, and the remaining figs were not enough to make a batch on their own. So I experimented by adding a pint of blueberries to roughly 2 cups of figs and the result was really tasty. I winged this, so the recipe below is not fully tweaked. Play with it to suit your own taste.

    2 cups figs
    1 cup sugar
    1 pint blueberries
    1 lemon slice
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 pinch salt
    Enough water to cover

    Reduce on low heat until thick. The color is really striking, and I’m happy that I didn’t kill it with too much lemon or vanilla. I’ve eaten it on toast or ice cream, and this is a keeper.

  190. If your fig tree is old and you are afraid of losing it, check out propagation by air layering. It is easy to do and I make 3 trees each year to give away. I live in Memphis, Tn. and my fig tree came from a twig off a tree at the house where I grew up in Birmingham, Al. I called it my fig twig. That was about 7 or 8 yrs ago and it is now 12’x 12′ and has produced around 50 lbs of figs each of the last 3 yrs. I can fig preserves, fig jam, and just regular canned figs.

    • Hi Tavenor (what an interesting name!). Is air layering something we can learn to do from a Google search? I invite you to share more information about this, as I personally would need to do this to my tree. There were way too many leaves this year, and even though we had abundant rain, the figs were sort of dry and flavorless. it seemed they just didn’t get the nutrients they needed to be juicy and sweet like in the past. Thanks!

  191. Picking figs: mom used a tin can on fishing pole. Dad used metal nips to cut off 2 inch lip of can to slice off fig from tree. Can’t remember how he fixed can to pole but super glue should work. He tended to be over-achiever and used metal grinder to smooth out rough spots on can lip. Cane fishing poles are lightweight and hollow making it more user friendly than old broom/mop handle and are longer.

  192. Hi, just a quick question. My dad passed away in 2005. When he canned stuff he used the boiling water method. My brother and I took a number of the jars he canned when he passed away. I did not think I had any left (fig jam) but I recently found one. It has been stored in a cool basement and in the dark behind folding doors.

    Obviously the big question is it too old to use? If the vacuum is still good and it pops when I open it, what else do I need to check? Obviously the smell has to be OK but is there anything else I need to check short of tasting it?

    If I am unsure can I just re-boil it and eat it quickly with short term refrigerator storage?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi John, welcome to the bayou. I’m no expert on botulism, and others here might know more than I. However, the rule of thumb for safely eating home-made preserves is about 2-3 years if kept in prime conditions, which yours were. As much as you’d like to eat your dad’s fig preserves, it’s been almost 10 years, and it’s probably best not to risk it. Maybe do another internet search to see if re-boiling them would kill any bacteria that might have grown over time. Sorry I can’t be more help, but I just don’t have much experience in eating old jams since my large family consumes mine pretty quickly. Best of luck to you, John! BW

      • The general answer seems to be – if it hasn’t popped itself, doesn’t show signs of mould and passes the smell test, it’s likely fine. Though as BW mentions, 10 years is a long time for all those factors to be perfect! Came across this interesting resource for all ye canners here: “The National Center For Home Food Preservation” http://nchfp.uga.edu/

  193. My mom always used wax on top of her preserves although I don’t. When you do the granny bath, does the water need to be just over the jars? And won’t they pop when they seal? It’s been a long time since I made preserves w/mom as she died in 2005. Thank you!

    • Welcome to the bayou, Devon. I’m sorry about your mom, but it looks like you will be carrying on her traditions by making preserves! My mom once used wax seals, too, but it’s not necessary with the granny bath. Yes, make sure the water covers the jars by about one inch–enough to not evaporate during the boiling time. After you remove the jars from the boiling pot, the lids will “ping” as they cool, forming the seal. Please make certain of these things, though, to ensure a good seal: The jars, bands, and lids are super hot when you fill them. After filling with boiling preserves, quickly wipe any drips from top edge of jar and rim. Seal quickly and put directly into the already-boiling granny bath. That should do it! Best of luck to you as you honor your mom with the tradition of canning great foods for your family! Bayou Woman

  194. Thank you BW and Capt. John,
    I agree with you on taking chances with jam this old. Thank you for your honesty. I don’t really have the time myself to do full blown canning, so I will use the recipe here with new fresh figs and stick to the refrigerator methods.

    Thanks again,
    John

    • You may most certainly cook the figs as recommended, even in a crockpot where they won’t burn and you don’t have to watch them so closely! But then jar them up and keep in the refrigerator! I wish you the best with your fig preserve venture, and I hope it goes well for you and brings you fond memories of your father!

  195. We just moved to a new home with a beautiful, bountiful fig tree! So, I tried my first batch of preserves yesterday! They look yummy! how long should we wait to try them? Do they need to “sit” like pickles?

    • Hi Gina, and welcome! So glad you tried the recipe, and I hope y’all love the results. No, you don’t have to wait for them to set up. You can eat them right away!!! BW

  196. Thanks for this recipe…it turned out perfectly, although I only made 5 pints today. I am getting enough figs daily that I will try the spicy fig jam also.

    • Wonder, Randy! Thanks for letting us know you made the recipe! Hope it turned out well for you. Where are located in this big world that figs are ripe this time of year? Also, let us know if you like the spicy fig jam, okay? Welcome to the bayou and stop by any time! BW

  197. I used this recipe last year and I had so many great comments! It was loved by the few that got to get a jar. I waited so late in the season to pick the figs that I was only able to make about 12 small jars. So this year I decided to pick and freeze all the figs. I picked anywhere from 2 to 4 quarts of figs per day for almost 4 weeks. I washed them and let them dry, then put them in the freezer to freeze individually. I have close to 60 quarts of frozen figs to start canning! I so looking forward to eating the preserves, as they are like fig candy! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Well, good for you on freezing figs! I hope they are wonderful cooked down for preserves! Glad you like the recipe, and thanks so much for coming back to let me know how much you enjoyed the end result! Happy canning in cooler weather, Tammy!

  198. I used this receipe this year and the figs are awesome. Could you do pears with the same receipe? My pears didn’t turn out very well. I didn’t use this receipe.

    • Jeanne, I’ve not used this basic recipe with pears, but if you search within this site, you will find chutney recipes, and I think pears would make a delightful chutney! If anyone else has a tried and true pear preserve recipe, please share it here with Jeanne! Welcome to the bayou, and I hope you come back to stay and visit a while! BW

  199. Has anyone ever made figs with lemon and cloves.I can remember my grandmother making figs with those two ingredients.As a young child it was always interesting to see thru the jar and also delicious when I was able to eat the preserves.

    • Naomi, I don’t know a hard and fast rule for years, but if the lid is still indented in the center, and it pops when you break the seal, and the contents look and smell normal, then they are fine. Two years is not too old for fig preserves because of all the sugar. As long as that jar has stayed sealed, the preserves will be just fine!

  200. We live in Southern NM and had a bumper crop this year. I didn’t have time to make preserves at harvest and the figs ripened at different times anyways. I washed and sprinkled the figs with a very light coat of sugar and put them in the freezer. I’m sure there’s at least 80 pounds! I mean we had a bumper crop! We have a bird dog and he kept the birds away. We’. Be smoking brisket and making bayou fig preserves this Sunday. We give part of them away for Christmas gifts. This year, I may have to pass them out to all my neighbors! Lots of fun. Oh, almost forgot…..any variation with frozen figs? I plan to cut back on sugar slightly as these huge purple figs are very sweet.

    • Sounds like a fabulous Sunday in NM!!! By the way, are you near Silver City? Kim, who designs the BW jewelry line, lives and creates there! It seems that when they thaw they get rather mushy and watery, so I hope the sugar helped curb some of that. I don’t know of any variation other than not adding any water to begin with and see how thick the syrup is while cooking. You can always thin it out a little with water while they’re cooking, but you sure can’t take the water out, with me? Good luck, and let us know how your method of freezing and using frozen figs works out. Thanks for stopping by, Mike! BW

  201. Greetings from Cromwell, Central Otago, New Zealand. It’s Fig Time here and I am harvesting my figs daily to beat the birds and gather enough to make your fab Fig Conserve. It is wonderful to read the comments left for you over the years – sounds like another world… Mockingbirds and squirrels don’t live over here – but I need to be quick to beat the little native Wax-Eye’s to the figs. They are beautiful, very small (one could fit in your closed fist) and their tiny beaks leave only the slightest mark – as if cut with a knife. Your recipe is devine. We serve it with crackers and cheese and my jars go very quickly – only the most special people receive a jar! Thanks to all of you for painting such a beautiful picture of preserving in the US.

    • You are most welcome, and thanks for coming back and letting us know you had good success with your figs!!! Come back anytime! BW

  202. 3rd year making this recipe.
    Same brown turkey figs, ripe but firm.
    Turned out very dark not golden as before.
    Taste is OK
    Overcooked?
    Is “cook on low” barely bubbling or not bubbling

    thanks for recipe and your patient replies