Fig Preserves

Fig Preserves

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Recipe by Stephen Pavy

Makes 3-4 cups, depending on moisture content of the figs.

3 lbs.

Fresh figs (see notes below on fresh figs)

2 cups

Turbinado sugar
  Grated zest and juice of 1 large Eureka lemon
1/8 tsp. Freshly ground/crushed cinnamon

Stem and halve all figs. Puree in food processor in 2 batches. Place all ingredients in heavy-bottomed kettle or pan.

Cook over low heat, stirring often enough to prevent splattering or sticking to bottom of pan. When figs have softened and preserves have darkened, remove from heat. Store in appropriate freezer-proof containers or using appropriate canning techniques in glass jars. Appropriately prepared glass jars can be saved at room temperature, plastic freezer containers must be stored in freezer.

The more "tree-dried" the figs, the thicker the preserves because the figs have already given up much of their moisture.
Single variety figs can be used to make things like pure Kadota preserves or pure Mission preserves. There is a wonderful contrast between the varieties, and if you have the luxury of making several preserves, I recommend this strategy. Using all "white" figs makes a light colored preserve. Using all purple figs makes a deep reddish/purple preserve. You can also simply mix them all together!
I have found that the Turbinado sugar does make a subtle difference.
The lemons I use are home grown and perfectly ripe. They weigh over 1/2 pound each. If you do not have access to home-grown or comparable farmer's market lemons, you will have to make some adjustments since store-bought lemons are more sour. Adjust the sugar/lemon balance if store-bought.
I always use cinnamon stick and crush it for use. This small amount of cinnamon is just right to blend in with the lemon.