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Fig Syrup

fig syrup

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I made fig syrup after several people suggested that this would be a good use for a surfeit of figs. It is, but making fig syrup is very time-intensive and requires a degree of will that I probably cannot muster more than once a season. Why? Seeds. Syrup should be seed-free, but fig seeds are minute, like a strawberry, and separating them from the pulp and then turning the pulp into a syrup is no easy task. There may be a better way to do this, but this is how I made fig syrup.

What to do with it? Pancakes spring to mind, as would a drizzle over ice cream, cake or sweet bread. Maybe add it to a pan sauce for venison or other game, or even put it in your coffee. It’s syrup, after all — and a pretty one, with a beautiful garnet color that’s loaded with fig flavor.

Makes 2 pints

  • 4-5 pounds ripe figs
  • Zest and juice of 3 lemons
  • Sugar
  1. Chop the figs well, add the zest and juice of the lemons and simmer over medium-low heat for 2-3 hours. You want everything to break down and be a mush.
  2. Get a large kettle of water ready so you can can the fig syrup as soon as it’s ready.
  3. Turn off the heat and push the fig mixture through the fine plate of a food mill. If you don’t have a food mill, you could use a drum sieve or a fine colander. But a food mill is best. You can order one online here.
  4. After everything is through the food mill, pour the fig mixture into a jelly bag if you have one — I don’t, so I used a clean spare undershirt — and push everything through. You will leave a lot of good stuff in the bag, but it’s the price for a clear syrup.
  5. Measure out the fig juice and add an equal amount of sugar. Pour this into a clean pot and bring to a simmer. Let this simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Pour into sterilized pint jars and seal. Process in boiling water for 15 minutes. The syrup should last at least a year. Keep in the fridge once you open it.

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2 responses to “Fig Syrup”

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    [...] huntin’ buddy Hank Shaw has written an number of articles on syrups, and one fig syrup recipe caught my eye. But, I enjoy eating my figs fresh and whole, so in order to stretch them, I decided to make the [...]

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