Our fig tree had more figs than we could eat this year so I decided to make preserves. Neil and I, both, remember the wonderful tasting strawberry fig preserves our mothers made when we were kids, so with some instructions from our County Extension Service I tried my hand at it. I'll show how I did it ~ the trials and the triumphs.
Step 1: Wash jelly jars in hot, soapy water.
Step 2: Sterilize the jars and lids.
Step 3: Wash, peel, and mash figs. Well, now that's what the instructions said to do but it didn't start out too well for me. My figs were very ripe, meaning very soft. I don't know if you've ever tried to peel a soft fig before but...
...the fig and I quickly became enemies. After working at this for about ten minutes I had about three little "blops" in the bottom of my big pot and knew at this rate it would take me all day just to peel them. I decided to just pull out the stems and forget the peeling. So, after pulling out the stems, I just mashed them up and went on with the next step.
Step 4: Measure 3 cups mashed figs into a large, thick-bottom pan and add two 3-oz. boxes of strawberry gelatin and 3 cups of sugar.
Step 5: Heat to a boil. Lower heat and boil slowly 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
Step 6: Fill hot jars immediately with fig mixture leaving a 1/4" headspace. Wipe jar rims and add lids.
Step 7: Process half-pints in a boiling water-bath canner 5 minutes. This makes about 6 half-pints.
Step 8: Scrape the pot and taste-test your finished product. I put a spoonful over some plain yogurt and sat down for a yummy snack.
Guess what we had for supper that night? We had hot, made from scratch, buttermilk biscuits, homemade strawberry-fig preserves with a side of bacon and a pot of coffee...Southern eating at its best!
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