We have several mission fig trees growing wild on the ranch. As a little kid, I spent a massive amount of time climbing and hanging out in the huge, cool fig tree canopies. I have lovely memories of my cousins coming over and playing with me as well, so figs always remind me of that. And pig enemas, but that is for a different post.
Around the first of August, when the main crop of missions ripen, I get to picking and canning. I’m not a fan of eating figs because of the pig thing I mentioned above, but I enjoy picking them because it reminds me of being a kid. Plus anything I can grow or glean needs to be canned or pickled, because it does.
Last summer I tried this recipe and everyone loved it. I was told these figs were great as a snack, with charcuterie, on salads, etc. I made them again this year just to compliment my charcuterie plates and so I could blog the recipe for you.
Pickled Mission Figs *
- 4 quarts firm, ripe figs
- 5 cups sugar, divided
- 2 quarts water
- 3 cups cider vinegar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 1 star anise (optional)
- 1 vanilla bean (optional)
Figs soaking in their hot water bath.
Boil water and pour over figs, let stand until cool. Combine 3 cups of sugar and 2 quarts of water and heat until the sugar dissolves. And the figs and gently cook for 30 minutes. Add 2 cups sugar and vinegar. Tie spices (except for the vanilla bean just thrown that right in with the figs after you slice it open) in a spice bag and add to the figs. Simmer for about an hour.
Despite the hot vinegar, this does smell good.
Cover the figs and let stand in a cool place for 12-24 hours. Bring back up to a simmer. Pack the figs into sterilized pint or quart jars. leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process 15 minutes in boiling-water canner.
You might also want to try:
Homemade Balsamic Figs
Mrs. Little’s Pickled Figs
*based on the Ball Blue Canning Book recipe
This is what a mission fig tree looks like.
Fig trees, olive trees and pomegranates grow really well and almost wild here on the ranch. I haven’t been a fan of figs since I was a little kid and my Mom’s pot-bellied pig made himself sick on them and well, you really don’t want to know the rest of that story because you won’t like them either.
This was a great year for figs! Usually the birds and deer beat me to them, but for some reason I was able to pick lots and lots! And I still have some! I do love fig trees because they are a lot of fun to climb! I had the best fort in an old fig tree out here until the pig incident. After that, it got cut down, we never wanted to have the pig incident again (it really was that bad).
A fig in it’s natural habitat.
I may not be a huge fan of figs but lots of my friends are. I decided to make some jam to use as gifts. After I tasted it I was surprised to find, I liked it! It was pretty good! I could see myself using it as a glaze for meat. Since it was good I decide to share my recipe (I used this as a base recipe), I give you:
Fig Balsamic Jam
- 4 1/2 cups chopped figs
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup Lucero balsamic vinegar
- 1 3-oz pouch liquid pectin
- 1/2 tsp. butter
- 6 cups sugar
Wash and de-stem your figs. Chop finely.
Add the figs, lemon juice, vinegar, water, sugar and butter in a large saucepan. The butter helps reduce foaming. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring often.
Anytime a recipe says add butter. I do. I love butter.
Once rolling boiling is achieved stir in liquid pectin. Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Skim foam, and ladle into processed jars leave 1/4 inch headspace. Process for in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
Fig balsamic jam. Yes.