It’s such a special treat to have brandied figs on hand. The seasons are so short: here and then GONE! for such a brief time in early summer and again in the fall. Anything I can have year-round without compromising taste, but rather at the peak of freshness, cracked open again on a dreary winter’s day, makes me one happy girl. This recipe, from the standby canning book The Preservation Kitchen is one to do when figs are at their most delicious ripeness. (I can’t get enough of that book.) Keep this in mind for those beautiful fruits that will be here again before we know it!
I really believe in using recipes from tested books on canning, rather than relying on the internet. Better safe than sorry. While this is a relatively simple recipe, I still recommend checking out the book to read up on how to can safely, if you haven’t done it before. /End safety talk.
- 1 2/3 cups brandy
- 1 1/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
- 8 cups ripe black mission figs (washed, stemmed, and halved or quartered)
- Bring the brandy, sugar, and water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Turn it down to maintain a simmer and cook until the sugar dissolves.
- In a large pot fitted with a rack, big enough to process the jars, scald 4 pint jars in simmering water. Right before filling, put the jars on the counter. Soak the lids in a pan of hot water to soften the rubber seal.
- Divide the figs among the jars. Transfer the brandy into a heat-proof pitcher, such as a Pyrex measuring cup, and pour over the figs, being sure to leave a 1/2-inch space from the rim of the jar. Remove any air bubbles, adding more syrup to cover the figs if needed. With a clean towel, wipe the jar rims, seal with the lids, then screw on the bands until snug but not tight. (Basically screw on the lid until tight, but then turn it back a little bit, so you don’t have to fight the jar too much to open later!)
- Place the jars in the pot with the rack and add water, covering the jars by an inch or so. Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 15 minutes, starting the timer when the water reaches a boil. Then turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for a few minutes. After a few minutes, remove the jars from the water and let cool completely.
These brandied figs can be enjoyed in so many yummy ways! For a sweet tooth: layering with thick Greek yogurt, pouring over salted caramel ice cream (or french vanilla, pumpkin, etc); to savory: highlighting on a charcuterie plate, or using as a sauce for a meat dish, they’re so lovely to have around. I’m sad to say after this, I’m down to my last jar.
In this parfait, I simply stewed a jar, liquid and all, until warm, then layered the fruit with sheep & goat’s milk Greek yogurt. You could also add a touch of maple syrup to the liquid, cook that down a bit, and pour over the top of the parfait for added sweetness and body. Chia seeds would also be a welcome addition here.