Dehydrating fresh figs is a great way to store them if you want to avoid extra sugar. Dried figs make a wonderful snack and you can either quarter or half the figs, or dehydrate them whole!
With 2 large fig trees on our property, we end up with several hundred pounds of fresh figs each summer. We eat them fresh, can them whole, dehydrate them, and freeze them.
Basically, we live on figs for a month around June each year! The fig tree below is just one of our trees (the other one is the same size) and it's over 30 feet tall!
Last summer I talked about putting up fruit (strawberries) by canning them, but what about that fruit that you want to preserve without sugar?
That's where dehydrating comes in! It's a fast and easy way to preserve fruit so that you can keep enjoying it for weeks, months, and even years to come!
How to Dehydrate Fresh Figs
Figs are a great fruit to start with if you've never dried any fruit before, because they are fairly forgiving. You can taste test as they dry so that you can find the perfect dry time for your preferences.
The dry time will vary depending on whether you quarter, half, or leave the figs whole.
First, thoroughly wash the figs. Be careful not to crush them, they are very delicate!
Next, remove the stems and quarter each fig. Arrange them onto trays for your dehydrator.
Make sure you leave a little breathing room between each piece so that the air can circulate properly.
You can also just half them or leave them whole. I like to do some of each, since I like them for different things!
While there are many dehydrators on the market, not all are created equal.
I use an Excalibur 5 Tray. I've had it for about 8 years and have used it for MANY hours... it's absolutely fabulous and you should get one!
Turn your dehydrator to the "fruit" setting, or about 135°.
I live in a very humid climate and it took about 8 hours for the quartered figs to be fully dry, and about 12 for the whole figs to be at the point where we like them. But times may vary, so check them every so often after about 6 hours.
To determine where you like them, you can test them by removing one, letting it cool a bit before tasting it in all it's figgy goodness!
How to Store Dried Figs
Once the figs are completely dried, remove the trays from the dehydrator and allow the fruit to cool.
From there, they can be placed in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber.
How Long do Dried Figs Last?
If you cut them into quarters or halves, they should be good for 1-2 years in a cool dry place. Whole figs don't last that long, because less of the moisture was removed.
I usually try to eat whole figs within a month or two, but just like with prunes, be sure to check them for mold if you pull them out of the pantry after a long stay.
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What To Do With Dried Figs
There are many different fig recipes that we enjoy for fresh figs, or even canned figs. But for the dried figs, we eat them in a few different ways.
Whole, you can eat them like dried apricots or prunes. Halved, you can make a delicious trail mix, and quartered they make a lovely addition to a fresh summer salad with homemade ranch dressing.
Don't be afraid to experiment with your dried figs, they are a wonderful snack any time!
How to Dehydrate Figs
- Fresh Figs
- Wash and de-stem all figs.
- Cut them into halves, quarters, or leave them whole.
- Place them on clean dehydrator trays, leaving a bit of room between the figs.
- Turn dehydrator on at 135° and place the front cover on the dehydrator.
- Check the figs after 6 hours by removing one from the dehydrator and allowing it to cool for 10-15 minutes before eating. If they need more time, continue to run the dehydrator and check them again every few hours until done.
- Once the figs are ready, remove the trays from the dehydrator and allow the fruit to cool.
- Store in an airtight container. If you cut them into quarters or halves, they should be good for 1-2 years in a cool dry place. Whole figs needs to be eaten within 2 months, at most.