Anatomy of fig canning

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Today was extremely long,  busy, and  productive. I can say I’m officially tired!

I started the canning process for fig preserves around 10 this morning after harvesting another 10 cups to add to the 54 cups I already had. So 64 cups of figs were hand processed today by Lil ole ME today.

So very glad I ordered a new stainless steel water bath canner that arrived yesterday to replace the ancient granite ware one I have used for over 47 years. I honestly can’t remember if I bought it or it was handed down from my mother who won awards at the state fair on her canned goods for many of my growing up years. I’ve used it because it was what I had, yes even on the glass top stove I’ve had for 15 years. Had to laugh when searching for a canner to replace it due to cracks in the enamel that were beginning to rust. The new granite ware products that look just like mine state “not for use on glass stovetops“! Hmmmm oh well, mine worked fine. But I figured upgrading to a larger flat bottom might not be a bad idea. It worked great and Does heat up faster than the old one did and it has a rack for the jars to be lifted into and out of the hot water. I just hate that the at this trusted American canning brand is now made in China😐

I use a very simple, very old recipe for fig preserves. It’s the same one I’ve used for years. I tried one once that I found online using vanilla extract. It was ok but not to my liking. I love the flavor of figs and don’t care to mask it. Some people like the recipe using strawberry jello. ….. that one I really don’t like because it tastes like artificial strawberries! BLEH!

My recipe is simply figs, sugar and water. I actually found a video online using the same recipe but he doesn’t can them with a water bath canner which will always be my preferred method of sealing and preserving. I use a ratio of half the sugar to the amount of figs and half the water to amount of sugar. Very easy to remember. Such as 12 cups Whole figs, washed and stemmed, 6 cups sugar, 3 cups water. Put it all in a pot, bring to a boil then simmer for 2 hours. I was double batching today with so many figs.

The smaller pot on camera left had 12 cups figs while the other large pot has 14 cups.

The next step is to ladel preserves into washed jars and place a lid that has been boiled on top. While bands can be reused, always use new lids (The flat top) to insure a good seal from the water bath.

Drop carefully into waterbath canner of hot water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 top 15 minutes before removing with tongs to cool.

Today 64 cups whole figs yielded 20.5 pints preserves and 2 pints fig syrup.

While the last batch was cooking down, I ran out to do the evening harvest. There are now 7 cups cleaned and stemmed figs in the fridge waiting to be canned in a couple days after I harvest a few more cups. It looks like this may be the smaller first harvest round as there are tons of thumb nail and smaller figs on the tree with less and less large ready to pick ones.

Now I’m off to chill and read for a bit before bed.