Preserved figs in syrup is a wonderful way to enjoy your bounty throughout the year. Figs have such a short season and you have to fight the birds (and sometimes possums) to harvest your crop, so it is great to savour the harvest. This recipe is a quick and simple way to preserve them for later enjoyment – if you can wait that long. I pick my figs as soon as they start to soften and they continue to ripen inside. Then I put them whole into the freezer, gradually filling the bag until I have enough to make something with.
1kg figs (can use frozen)
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
I lemon, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
If using fresh figs, rinse figs well in cool water and then soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Make a syrup by boiling the sugar, water and spices together. When syrup is clear and slightly thick, about 10 or 15 minutes, add figs and sliced lemon.
Bring back to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Seal in hot, sterilized jars. I spoon the figs into the jars first and then fill them to within 3mm of the top of the jar with syrup.
You can serve a few in a ramekin sprinkled with almonds and with a spoonful of yoghurt as a simple dessert. They are delicious with cheese and crackers or even with bagels and cream cheese. Try them on top of your oatmeal porridge in the morning or sliced on top of scones.