August 9, 2020

Canning Figs

Our figs are starting to ripen. Just a few at first, but they need to be picked daily. By the end of next week we should be picking bucketsful. For now, it's too many to eat fresh but not enough for a full canner load. Figs don't keep, so I freeze, dehydrate, or do small batch canning.

Preparation is simple. After washing, I cut off the stems. These are fed to the goats.

Figs must be hot packed, so I make an extra light syrup, and bring it
to a boil. Then I add the figs, & return to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Extra light canning syrup: 1¼ cups sugar to 5½ cups water.

I estimated only 4 or 5 pints, so I used one of my tall stainless steel pots
instead of my water bath canner. This saves on water and heating time. 

Utensils laid out. Not pictured, tongs for the scalded lids.

Filling the jar with hot figs.

One tablespoon lemon juice is added to each pint jar.
If I have cinnamon sticks, I add a piece of that too.

Hot syrup is ladled into the jar leaving ½-inch headspace.

Rims are wiped clean.

I use Tattler reusable canning lids. They are two piece and have
been scalded in a small saucepan. The rubber gasket is first.

The white lid is next.

The canning rings are not screwed down tightly. They are
tightened after the jars are removed from the boiling water.

Filled jars are placed in the hot water bath, which is brought to a boil.

Processing time starts at full boil; for pints it's 45 minutes.

My yield was 4 pints plus about a cup extra to eat for breakfast. 

With Tattlers, I test the seals after the jars are completely cool. I remove the rings and pick up the jar by the lid. If it holds, the seal is good! If I can pull it off, no seal. Then I pop the jar into the fridge and we eat the contents within a couple of days.

So I've made a start. By the time the figs are done, I hope to have several dozen pints put by. As pickings taper off at the end, I'll switch to dehydrating them.

Of fruit, I'm still picking blueberries, and the apples and pears are about ready. No time to be bored when harvest is in full gear.

Canning Figs © August 2020 by Leigh


Michelle said...

I like fresh figs, but don't like them dried AT ALL. I'll try canning them when next I get enough! Thanks for the detailed instructions!

Leigh said...

Michelle, it seems to me that dehydrating changes things enough so that they need completely different recipes. Especially home dried foods. So far, for dried figs, I rehydrate them in apple or pineapple juice and use them instead of raisins in cakes or cookies. We like them that way. Dan mentioned fig newtons the other day, and all the recipes I've seen for that call for dried figs. Still need to give that one a try, though. said...

I love figs! How wonderful that you have them and all your other fruits. How do you keep critters from eating it all? Thank you for the info on the reusable lids. I didn't even know there was such a thing. Do they fit on regular canning jars? What satisfaction to see your canned items lining up on your shelves!

Mama Pea said...

I'm always fascinated when you write about your figs. I've never had a fresh fig, only dried ones. Really like the white figs, not crazy about the black ones. Your jars of the canned look yummy. Reminds me of when I had big pear trees and would can them in a very light syrup. We always enjoyed them as a light dessert. I do the same as you do when having a small batch of food to water bath . . . use one of my stock pots rather than the big canner. Good post, Leigh.

Leigh said...

Sam, competition with the critters is always fierce! Usually, we have to settle for figs with a few bird pecks in them. :o But I figure they'll be sterilized in the canning process, so who cares. We save the whole ones for fresh eating.

The Tattler lids are great! A little more expensive, but they last a long time. They make two sizes, one for regular canning jars, the other for wide-mouth canning jars.

Mama Pea, thank you! I really have no idea about the different varieties of figs there are. Our fig trees were here long before we were, and I've never been able to identify what kind they are. Finding them was something of a surprise. I was clearing out thick overgrowth our first summer hear and hacked my way through to what looked like a fig leaf! And it was!

Cockeyed Jo said...

Ours is about two weeks out from ripe. Still a bit hard. I watch the birds. When they move from the cherry trees to the figs, I'll start picking. Mine liquid is a very light sugar because our Celeste Nigro are super sweet and I don't want to cover up the honey flavor... 1/2 c sugar to a gallon of water.

Goatldi said...

I forget about figs. We had a lovely tree on the first site for Walnetto Farm. It was a black mission fig. They are sweet and lovely! I need to include one in my “orchard “.

Is there a reason you use the Tattler lids besides their ability to be reused? I remember when they first came out but I remember them being a bit more expensive initially as to be expected.

Nice post with a lot of good tips.

Leigh said...

Jo, my pears are like that, so sweet they barely need additional sugar. When I use them in my applesauce, it needs no extra sweetening! I'm not familiar with any of the fig varieties. Ours are actually pretty bland, but they're already here so we use them.

Goatldi, yes, figs are a wonderful addition to an orchard!

Yes, the Tattler's are more expensive, but times like now, when regular lids are scarce, I'm glad I have them. I figure the years of reuse make up for the initial expense.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Figs always look so pretty after being canned. Most of my family liked fig preserves so that's how Mama made them. I never cared for them.

Michelle said...

Leigh, Fig Newtons are what I buy for my guys sometimes because I know I will be in no way tempted to eat them!

Renee Nefe said...

Now I am craving fig newtons! I haven't had a fresh fig since I was a child. :( Maybe someday soon.

1st Man said...

Thanks for these instructions. I'm going to plant a new fig tree, we have one now but it's like a bush and I think it gets too much shade. It's hardly grown. We had some figs on there but a neighbor's escaped goats took care of those, ha. did I miss how long you simmer them in the syrup for? And one more would you use these once they are canned, in the future? Just eat like that or could you use to make a jam at some future time? 2nd Man is not the biggest fig fan but I'm guessing he just hasn't had them in the right way yet, ha. Canning might persuade him if we can use them later for something great, ha.

Keep up the great posts, you inspired those of us who aspire to be greater stewards of our world.

Leigh said...

Sue, I agree, they make a lovely canned item. I make fig jam too, but because our figs are kinda bland, my jam is too. It does make a good combo jam; our favorites are fig and orange, or fig and cranberry.

Michelle, that's the way to do it! Buy cookies that don't tempt, you lol (I do the same thing).

Renee, I really need to try to bake some fig newtons. I have recipes somewhere!

1st Man, thank you for mentioning the simmering time. I forgot! It's 5 minutes. (I edited the post to add that).

We mostly eat ours for breakfast topped with kefir. Often I mix in other fruits, either canned or fresh. They're also good in cake! here's my recipe for fresh fig cake, but I've made it with canned figs too. I drain the syrup first and then substitute the canned figs for the fresh.

JayNola said...

I really enjoy alcohol canned figs. A little bourbon or run makes them so good for a dessert spread...

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

What a great primer for canning! Thank you Leigh!

(What do you use figs for? I only eat them in fig newtons.)

Leigh said...

JayNola, somehow it sounds like there ought to be some vanilla ice cream thrown in for good measure, lol.

TB, thanks! We eat them like any other canned fruit, usually for breakfast or with lunch. They make a good fig cake too.:)

Cockeyed Jo said...

I planted the Celeste (white fi(g with pink centers) and nigro (black fig with red center) rather than the brown turkey figs when we terraced the orchard. The white figs are twice as big as the brown and have a distinct honey flavored sweetness to them. The black figs are about the same size as the brown, but are sweeter. Down here in the south most folks plant the brown turkey, but yours almost look like my white.

Leigh said...

Jo, I just looked at images of your three varieties and think we have the brown turkey. My photo shows quite a bit of green in some of the figs, but I often pick early to beat the birds. As long as they are soft and starting to turn brown, I pick them. Would that they were the whites, if those are honey flavored! Ours are pretty bland.

Henny Penny said...

You make canning figs look easy. Your's sure turned out pretty. I never thought about canning figs. Mama made fig preserves. I absolutely love figs, dried, preserves, or raw. Our fig tree just decided in July to grow figs. Hope they ripen before cold weather. This has been a strange year, in lots of ways.

Leigh said...

Henny, that's how I started with figs - preserves. But it's really nice having them around as canned fruit too. I'm glad to hear you're going to get some figs this year! Ours have thankfully been reliable. Harvest will depend on who gets them first, us or the birds!

Ed said...

I love seeing jars of food I’ve preserved cooling down on the counter.

wyomingheart said...

Fabulous post, Leigh! I have only had figs in Newtons! We will be looking into finding some whole to try, for sure. We were surprised last year to find a big persimmon tree in the over grown woods! We are hoping to get more than the deer this year, lol! Just a curious question, have you have many fails with the tattler lids? We have discussed trying them in the past, and with the situation of our world being what it is,...might be the time to think about switching. I suppose it’s like a lot of things, lack of knowledge causes hesitation! Have a wonderful week. Like you, our kitchen is a steamy production whirlwind right now!

Leigh said...

Ed, that and watching the pantry shelves fill up with the summer harvest. :)

Wyomingheart, this is the first year I've had trouble with the Tattler lids. The culprit seems to be the blueberries. I've had occasional fails in the past, but I've really had a lot of them with the blueberries. I've gone through the checklist of possible reasons, even tried brand new rubber rings, but I still can't find the cause.

We have a wild persimmon too! And you're right about the deer, they love them (as do the possums and raccoons). Plus our tree is old and tall, and most of the fruit is waaaaaayyyyy above my head! So we planted a Japanese persimmon several years ago. It's just starting to bear. Larger fruit, very sweet.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Leigh, I think you are right about brown turkey. To me they are the blandest tasting to me too.

Leigh said...

Jo, well, you've got me intrigued about figs. I didn't realize there were such differences amongst the varieties. Not sure I want to invest in another kind of fig tree, but I might!