Preserving Fruits – Figs
Preserving, I believe is just innate in humans (or it should be). It is only natural to want to preserve the foods that you have worked so hard to harvest. Preserving is a must for those who want to live off the land and use their own mind, bodies, and spirits to harvest their own foods.
Canning your fresh fruits is easy and most of the time, depending on the acidity level of the food and how much sugar you are putting into the preserves, does not require a pressure canner. I have written this simple no fail Fig Preserves recipe that is just SUPER!
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
1. Combine figs, sugar, and lemon juice together in a medium-sized saucepan and cook on low heat for 30 minutes uncovered.
2. Process 10 minutes using the boiling method.
Drying figs is a must. The only problem with drying them is that as soon as they come out of the sun or the oven, they disappear. If it is not me who eats them all, it is my kids. With Scott at work, he never even gets to see them; Poor thing!
Drying is perhaps the oldest method of preserving. It dates back to the days of our ancient ancestors and Native Americans. They preserved their harvests long before canners, pressure cookers, and freezers were invented. They sun-dried their fruits and vegetables, but I prefer using the oven. I do not have to deal with insects that way! It is easy to dry fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even chili peppers. You more than likely already have all that is needed to pursue preservation by this method.
1. Set your oven on the lowest setting, probably around 135 degrees.
2. Remove stems, cut figs in half, and lay them flesh side up on the cookie sheet turning occasionally for 24 hours or until the outsides are leathery and there are no juices when you put pressure on the figs. Keep the oven door slightly open so that the figs dry instead of cook. You can do this in 12-hour cycles by turning the oven off during the night if you choose.
3. Store figs in an air-tight container for several months. Figs will last in the freezer up to 24 months.