Whole fig preserve
September 15, 2010 • Category: Pantry
One feature of life in Lebanon that is a big positive is the abundance of fruit trees that seem to grow everywhere; figs and olives being a prime example.
We had a large bucket of figs; they were not the best figs of the season but they were still sweet. Here is a traditional way to preserve them from Chef Ramzi’s The Culinary Heritage of Lebanon.
- 2 pounds of figs
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
- Peel the figs; leave them whole. Place them in a dish and cover them with sugar and about 1/2 cup of water and let them sit overnight.
- The next day, drop the figs and juice that has formed into a heavy-bottomed pot; bring to a simmer and as soon as the froth appears on the surface, add the fresh lemon juice. Stir gently so as not to smash the figs;
- Simmer gently for one hour or until the figs and the liquid are syrupy and thick. Test by scooping out a teaspoon on a plate. Cool and keep in a jar in the fridge.
48 Comments • Comments Feed
Patty Price says:
I love the figs preserved whole- beautiful and delicious:)
On September 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm
Amber @Almost Vegan says:
Gorgeous! And it sounds delicious. If you gave me some of this on top of a wheel of brie, I might actually go so far as to eat cheese! Very unusual for me :]
On September 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm
Sushma Mallya says:
It looks wonderful..
On September 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm
What a wonderful and easy recipe….I love it!!….Abrazotes, Marcela
On September 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm
I love them!!!
On September 15, 2010 at 1:43 pm
Lovely preserve, it’s one of my favorite way to enjoy fig as well.
On September 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm
Your fig preserve sounds wonderful! Now all I need is a large bucket of figs!
On September 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm
cela me semble succulent j’aime beaucoup les figues c’est mon fruit préféré bravo ma chère
On September 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm
This looks so good! What a great recipe! Something I would love to try!
On September 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm
Used to have a fig tree at home during my teens. Mom made the best fig preserve -after yours, I suppose- but it had that “mother taste” never found away from home. Big hugs
On September 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm
I love them. Yumm!
On September 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm
T.W. Barritt says:
Oh, doesn’t that preserve look silky and delicious?
On September 15, 2010 at 8:02 pm
Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:
I have never thought to preserve them whole. I wish I had this info a couple of weeks ago. I had the opportunity to purchase a flat of fresh figs.
On September 15, 2010 at 8:06 pm
I Sicilian says:
you are posting such wonderful recipes lately, being in Beirut must be so inspirational.
I love everything you’ve posted in the last months
On September 15, 2010 at 10:44 pm
I read your blog everyday. No RSS feed, for me, I have to visit your site.I learn so much about Lebanese food and customs and you convey it so effectively in your simple and succinct write ups.I want to visit Lebanon because of you and experience the vibrancy of the country.
On September 15, 2010 at 10:55 pm
Alfonso Cevola says:
those look so delicious, can you bring some back to Texas?
On September 15, 2010 at 11:01 pm
Afnan Sheela says:
How can I get fig plant or cutting?
On November 13, 2020 at 4:31 am
Joumana Accad says:
@Afnan Sheela Where do you live? I know someone in the US who has a farm and specializes in fig plants to sell. I can give you his name if you like.
On November 13, 2020 at 2:09 pm
Jenn, Leftover Queen says:
They look absolutely luscious!
On September 15, 2010 at 11:40 pm
The figs are screaming for bread, one bite of this you won’t want to go back to store bought jam.I like how they bubble up in glossy sugar bath like lava. This preserve is classic for a reason, I love figs, fresh, dried or in jam, they’re luscious chewy and sweet. It beats candy if you want some instant sugar in a nutritional package, they’re excellent source of both insoluble and soluble fiber.
On September 16, 2010 at 3:16 am
Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:
A bucket of figs? Heaven! This is a great recipe – I really like how they are kept whole.
On September 16, 2010 at 3:43 am
I love figs in any form Mmm! Thanks for sharing Joumana I will def be trying this one out!
On September 16, 2010 at 4:56 am
Figs are hellishly expensive here in SA… I can’t imagine doing anything to them except eating them fresh with a few trimmings! How I wish I had the problem of having so many that I have to preserve them!
Actually, I have a fig tree in my garden, but the figs never ripened properly last year. Not sure why. I hope they do this year – the tree is laden with baby fruit. Will keep this recipe in mind if I need it!
On September 16, 2010 at 5:46 am
Même si tu dis que ce n’était pas les meilleures figues, elles ont l’ai superbes
On September 16, 2010 at 8:06 am
Love figs, just made an ice cream with figs, just posted the recipe. These preserves look awesome. I have only one problem with it: by the time the figs make it to the pot there will only be 1 lb left lol.
On September 16, 2010 at 10:04 am
Bria @ WestofPersia says:
This recipe is so simple and fabulous that I might just might have to make it, Joumana. Figs bring back happy memories for me. We used to have fig trees in the yard and my mom makes a mean fig preserve herself, but she does all of the steps of canning, which I’ve yet to learn.
On September 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm
Bria @ WestofPersia says:
Wow, total run-on sentence in my above comments. Whoops!
On September 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm
I love figs especially fruit preserves and jam. I just remembered that I had some pictures of fig preserve in my camera which I forgot to upload.
On September 16, 2010 at 1:09 pm
Quelle chance d’avoir autant de jolis fruits par chez toi ! Ca donne envie de se mettre aux petits bocaux 😉
On September 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm
This is a lovely way of being able to enjoy figs year round! I bet there’s so many things you can do with this preserve!
On September 16, 2010 at 7:26 pm
Magic of Spice-Alish says:
How divine! I have some lovely figs, perhaps enough to give this a try. Gorgeous photos and preserves 🙂
On September 16, 2010 at 11:38 pm
You’re such a teeze with those luscious looking figs, and did you say bucket full? So jealous!
On September 16, 2010 at 11:41 pm
A Canadian Foodie says:
Now those would be sweet. I really have never figured out the fig allure. I had never had a fresh one until about 5-6 years ago. They are a miraculous fruit, for certain: so sweet and textural. But, the flavour is so mild that the appeal is lost on me.
On September 17, 2010 at 1:23 pm
@Valerie: Dear Valerie, I don’t know where you tasted figs; what I can say with certainty is that the fresh figs that one finds available in Lebanon (in season) are the sweetest and most appealing fruit known to man.
On September 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm
That preserve looks lovely! We usually buy a block of dried compressed figs from an Irani spice shop nearby.
On September 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm
So wonderful Joumana – I was enviously staring at a woman the othr day cart a whole box of fresh figs away at Costco and I must go back and get them and then do this. Ooh…with some goat cheese yummm!!!!
Hugs, Devaki @ weavethousandlfavors
On September 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm
that looks like Edde Sands….
On September 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm
Fig is one of our favorite fruits and we get it only for a couple of months here. In Texas figs grow well & I guess we have to make sure we plant some in the yard next spring. The fresh ones are just the best. What a beautiful way to preserve them I think I would just have it by itself.
On September 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm
Oh my goodness, fresh figs are simply perfection and this preserve sounds like such a treat. I also love it (fig preserves) on toast with some blue cheese.
I’ve only had store bought, but I think I need to make my own.
On September 25, 2010 at 10:04 am
Looks just beautiful. I’m going to try this out before Figs go out of season here – have been looking for ideas to use figs in recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!
On October 6, 2010 at 3:43 pm
rima rifai says:
I tried your fig compote combining it with a recipe from the village (Shouf) but added a local geranium leaf (which gave it a wonderful fragrance) and some walnuts and sesame seeds. It turned out delicious. Thank you
On October 22, 2010 at 4:12 am
Hello Rima; so glad you made it and what a great idea to add the geranium leaf! I will do it next time, thanks!
On October 22, 2010 at 11:39 am
I know this thread is a year old, but I hope you are still monitoring it…
How long will these preserves last if refrigerated? Most of the recipes I have found call for canning, which is much more involved and time consuming, but results in preserves which can be kept unrefrigerated for months or years. I don’t have all the equipment to can, but would love to save some of the figs off my trees–I can’t eat all the fruit that is coming ripe at the moment, and would like to extend the bounty through the fall at least through a simple preserve.
On August 18, 2011 at 8:52 am
@Jim: Frankly, I did not have to worry about their shelf life as the preserve was gone quickly; I had been sterilizing jars by throwing them in the oven for 15 minutes, and that works fine.
On August 18, 2011 at 10:03 am
Hi Joumana –
I have been making this recipe over the past 4 years on and off. (it is wildly popular in my house) I had the paper copy and it has been lost during moving – I am sure that when the recipe was originally posted – it included slices of lemons. Can you help? I have tracked you down by recognizing the image under google images – and I hope I can find the original somewhere at home. I hope you have the one with the slices. I just can’t remember whether I soak the slices of lemon overnight with the figs, or not? Thanks
On March 6, 2015 at 4:31 am
@Louise: I don’t remember slices of lemon, but I will look into it tonight and repost it if i find that it has been placed in the wrong category. Give me a couple of hours. My pleasure.
OK, I just checked and I don’t see slices of lemon; however, the idea is enticing! I may try it with them. YUM. I would just soak the slices of lemon with the figs and sugar and cook slowly until the whole lot thickens.
On March 6, 2015 at 5:02 am