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Super Tasty Fig Preserves

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Fig Preserves

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After turning over leaves and peering through branches for days, the figs are finally ready! The perfect sweet but not too sweet snack, figs pair wonderfully with tarts, crostinis and cheeses, and I couldn’t be happier to share this wonderful recipe I found for fig presreves via Williams-Sonoma.

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Since I’ve never tasted anything bad from Williams-Sonoma, and they’re the type of place  where I will  say I need two samples because I need to give one to my husband (Guilty, because it never made it back to my husband :)), I figured it would be the best place to start searching for something to do with all of my figs. I wanted a preserves recipe that had a little more complexity than sugar and fruit, but not so complicated with that it took all day to make. This recipe melds the both together well with a quick cook time and citrusy flavors throughout.

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So far I have tried his spread with goat cheese, on crackers an on toast and it is DELICIOUS! It is a flavor you can’t get year round, so take advantage of it now while they’re ripe and fresh.  I have a tree in my backyard, but you could easily substitute store-bought figs and make this recipe on your own without any trouble.

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This was my first time ever making homemade preserves, and let me tell you, the FRESH taste is definitely worth the extra effort.  Make it once, and you’ll have figgy goodness for the entire year! That’s not a bad deal, if I do say so myself.

Get your glass jars ready, because here we go!

FIG PRESERVES

Prep Time:  40 Minutes                Cook Time: 20 Minutes           Servings: 24 ( 5 1/2 Pint Jars)

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. figs, such as Mission, Adriatic or Brown Turkey
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Grated zest of 1 orange

Directions:

Have ready 5 hot, sterilized half-pint jars and their lids. I used whatever I had handy – hence the crazy array of glass jars!

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Trim the fig stems, leaving a little of the stem attached to each fig. In a large nonreactive saucepan, combine the sugar, orange juice and lemon juices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Watch this closely because it starts boiling FAST. I left the pot for a minute and came back and it had boiled over! 🙁 I told you this was my first time making it…

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Add the figs, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring gently, for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a bowl. Add the orange zest to the syrup and cook, uncovered, until reduced by one-third, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the figs to the pan and cook for 1 minute to heat through. I LOVE the smell of orange zest. Mmm!

Now would be a good time to get the large pot of water boiling to seal the jars later.

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Using the slotted spoon, divide the hot figs evenly among the jars. Ladle the syrup over the figs, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.

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Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Be VERY careful when removing the jars. The pot will be heavy (unless you have a canning system), so you may want to let it cool a bit to be safe, or try and fish the jars out with tongs.

The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes 5 half-pint jars. 

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Serving suggestions: This pairs well on denser, crustier breads and tangy flavors to bring out the citrus notes. Try it with goat cheese, cream cheese, sourdough bread, crostinis, or in the nooks and crannies of an English muffin. YUM!

ENJOY!

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