Fig syrup is a great way to use lots of figs, which happens when you have a fig tree. Here’s how to make it.
I made fig syrup after several people suggested that this would be a good use the avalanche of figs I get every year. It is, but making fig syrup is 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.
For the record, I use Mission figs, because that’s what sort of tree I have. Any variety of fig will work, and the color of your syrup will reflect that.
Another great use for lots of figs is to make fig jam. My rendition uses a bit of ouzo for a Greek touch.
- 4 to 5 pounds ripe figs
- Zest and juice of 3 lemons
- Chop the figs well, add the zest and juice of the lemons, cover with water by about an inch, and simmer over medium-low heat for 2 hours. You want everything to break down and be a mush. Add water as it cooks so it won't stick to the pan.
- Get a large kettle of water ready so you can can the fig syrup as soon as it's ready.
- Strain the mixture through cheesecloth, then measure out an equal amount of sugar. Return to the pot to reduce to the consistency of maple syrup, or honey -- your choice.
- 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. 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. If you are OK with a cloudy syrup, just use cheesecloth.
- 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 10 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.