When we moved to our currently homestead we were happy to find 2 huge fig trees already established on the property. Figs were something of a luxury before that discovery as they are quite expensive from the store - especially if you are looking for organic figs.
However, now we regularly harvest 125-200 pounds of figs each year, without much effort. We also leave plenty for the raccoons and the birds!
For several years we would just dehydrate the figs and snack on them throughout the year in trail mix, or on salads.
But last year we had so many figs that I just couldn't keep up with them in the dehydrator before they started going bad! So I started playing around with how to can figs for later. It was a massive success and now we have a new way to preserve all our figs!
Though we do still dehydrate a good number of the figs ;-)
How to Can Fresh Figs
Canning figs is a very easy process and is done in a water bath, so no special equipment is required! However, I would recommend making sure that you have a pot TALL enough to accommodate quart jars PLUS 2" of water above the rim as is needed for water bath canning.
Otherwise, if you do not have a pot that tall, simply can the figs in pints.
Below the instructions for canning your figs, I'm also including some commonly asked fresh fig questions, as well as some delicious ways to use your figs!
How to can fresh figs for use in pies, cakes, or one of many more fig recipes!
- 10 pounds Fresh figs, washed and whole
- 4 1/2 cups Sugar
- 10 1/2 cups Water
- 8 Tbsp Bottled Lemon Juice (do not use fresh)
Prep jars according to water bath canning directions.
Bring plain water to a boil, blanch washed figs in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain.
Bring sugar and 10 1/2 cups of water to a gentle boil in a large pot, add figs to syrup and gently boil for 5 minutes.
Note: You may need to do this step in 2 stages if you don't have a pot large enough.
Add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to the bottom of each quart jar, or 1 tablespoon to each pint jar.
Pack hot figs into jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Ladle hot syrup over figs, still leaving 1/4" headspace.
Use plastic canning knife to remove air bubbles. Wipe the glass rim with a clean wet rag and add 2-piece lids. Adjust to finger tightness.
Process in a water bath canner according to water bath canning directions here. 45 minutes for pints, 50 minutes for quarts.
Remove jars from water with canning jar lifter and place on a folded towel on counter or table. DO NOT MOVE for at least 24 hours.
Check to make sure jars sealed, if so store in the pantry. If not, store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.
Fresh Fig FAQs
If you've never really dealt with fresh figs before, you may have a few questions. Here are our answers to a few commonly asked fresh fig questions!
How do you wash fresh figs?
I place about 4 cups of fresh figs at a time into a colander and then run the colander under warm warm for a few minutes. Toss the fruit gently by hand to ensure that all sides are rinsed.
This process is less important if you grew the figs yourself and did not use any chemicals during the growing process.
Do you have to remove the stems from fresh figs?
Nope! During the cooking process they become soft and edible as they are. I would remove any leaves or longer than normal stems, if they are present.
Do wasps get into the figs?
Wasps feed off of the figs, yes. However, while they do sometimes sting the fig, or even crawl inside, the fig breaks down the wasp and uses it to grow an even more delicious fruit!
So don't worry about finding a wasp inside your figs. This seriously never happens!
Fresh Fig Recipes
Now that you have all your lovely figs washed, cleaned, and canned - it's time to put them to good use! Here are a few fig recipes that can be made with fresh or canned figs. Enjoy!
Fig and Bourbon Fizz