I am a frustrated farmer and ‘canner.’ I love the whole idea of growing something and then turning it into a fabulous treat. The closest I get to being either a farmer or canner occurs in early September when a friend’s beautiful Black Mission fig tree yields its little gems.
In the past I’ve made Fig-Strawberry jam (and will do so next week), but I was on a mission to make something different with the first harvest: Pickled Figs.
5 lbs. Mission Figs, quartered or halved
1 gallon of water, with 1 T. salt
8 1/2 pint canning jars
Simmer figs in salt water in a large pot for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, sterilize 8 1/2 pint canning jars according to manufacturers instructions.
4 C. brown sugar
2 C. balsamic vinegar
8 thinly sliced pieces of lemons
1 cinnamon stick
16 whole allspice
Bring ingredients to a boil, add drained figs and simmer for 60 minutes.
Divide mixture evenly between jars, adding enough liquid to cover figs, leaving an inch at the top. Make sure to wipe off anything that spills onto jar rim with a clean rag. Tighten lids and return to water bath.
Boil for ten minutes. Remove from water bath. Within the next several hours you will hear a ‘pop’ as the jars seal. This means the contents can be stored for several months.
So far, I’ve served these figs over a Humboldt Blue cheese with rosemary crackers, and also a goat cheese. I also imagine it would be a lovely accompaniment with a pork loin, or roasted chicken.
These little preserved jewels will be a beautiful reminder of summer come winter. Give it a try!