8.09.2014

Old-Fashioned Fig Preserve

Finally,  after struggling through hurricanes and hard freezes, our Celeste Fig tree began bearing enough figs for us to can them.  Last year it only yielded a handful a day, but those few handfuls of figs rarely made it into the house, because between us and the birds eating them as they ripened, they never stood a chance of us making any kinds of plans for storage of any kind.  This year, thanks to no major storms, and the tree finally growing big enough to survive a freeze, it began to bear enough fruit for us to begin saving some to can, using one of my family's (my Mama and grandmother's) traditional recipes.  In the last month or so, Peggy and I picked on average a quart of figs each day; sometimes more some days none at all. Day by day we stashed them in 2 gallon zip lock freezer bags till we had approximately 5 gallons. I had seen other folks use this technique and it worked great.  Pick the figs from the tree, put them in a big bag and store them in the freezer till you have enough to can. 
    When you take the bags out of the freezer, they will have frozen as individuals, and not in a solid clump. Since they are separate, the process of rinsing and snipping the stems off is an easy (and fun) task. 
  Stewing the figs using the original family recipe is very simple.  Weigh your figs and for every pound of figs add 1 cup of sugar.  Since our figs were frozen, I added a little water to start them steaming sooner, but it really wasn't needed.  I also added a splash of lemon juice 'cause I saw lots of folks on the internet do it and it aint like we don't have several gallons of our Meyer lemon juice still in the freezer.  At any rate, we started with this:
 And ended up with this below, in a few fun-filled hours. Of course we had to "taste test"...Oh Mmmm! It took me back to the days of my youth, sitting at the table with my elders who cooked everything with love.
Below is the video of how we did it.  This time honored Cajun treat deserves to be passed on for further generations to enjoy.  Please give it a try and let us know what you think.



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