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
- 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.
- Get a large kettle of water ready so you can can the fig syrup as soon as it’s ready.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.