We have two large fig trees at Stone Hill Farm. They are so abundant and have been even more so this year with the heat and thanks to a neighbor who has been keeping bees in Stone Hill for the last few years.
I didn't know a fig about figs growing up. The only fig I can recall ever eating was in a Newton. I mentioned in my Pear Chutney post the story of my girlfriend trading me her Pepper Jelly for my fig preserves. Her grandmother won a scholarship to Auburn for her fig recipe. We played around last year with the recipe and this year I completely faked it.
I soaked the figs with baking power over night. This was key to Kimberly's grandmother's recipe. We think to kill any bacteria.
Empty the baking soda water, then cover the figs in sugar, it was about 6-8 cups. Add water to make a sugar syrup. Then cook down until the syrup thickens. I cooked them for four hours. I added two cups of dark Karo Syrup after the third hour. Then added the zest of 3 oranges finely chopped at the very end before canning.
The figs become very soft and taste delicious with a fresh, crusty bread, toasted with butter. Spread them on the bread. You can even add brie or goat cheese.
Thanks again to Kimberly for inspiring me to can for the very first time last year. Also, many thanks to our neigbhor Andrew for keeping his bees. We see them all over the garden and the difference has been more figs, more pears and more apples.