Ways to Store Figs

Shown are dried figs, frozen packaged figs, canned fig preserves, and fresh figs

Figs and Storage, July 2014

Fresh figs are quite a treat, but they are very perishable and strategies for storage is essential—especially when produced in abundance in a home garden, !

Figs can be stored frozen, or dried (in the small opened jar), or as canned preserves (see photo).

We have two fig trees an LSU Purple (the darker purple at the bottom, center of the photo) fig and Alma (to the right side, an Aggie product from  Texas A&M horticulture).

This year, there is an abundance of figs, but the cool, damp weather has caused the figs to ripen slower than usual.

Last year, all figs were prepared and stored in the freezer in vacuum-sealed bags to reduce freezer burn and prolong storage time. The figs were blanched about 30 seconds in boiling water, then frozen on a cookie sheet (keeps them from sticking together in the bag) and then packed into bags and vacuum-sealed.

Drying takes a bit of time (around 12 to 15 hours) in my dehydration device. There are newer models—-I’m so tempted to start looking for one! The older machines allow air to gradually filter from the heating element at the bottom, through several trays (tray rotation is important to ensure all trays dry). The newer ones have fans, controlled temperatures, timers, and other options (the no tray rotation part has my attention). I’m drying figs, but still not certain how dry they have to be in order to store without spoiling; it’s a work in progress.

Canned fig preserves are easy to make — one just needs a recipe, and there are a lot out there. Canned preserves will store longer than either the dried fruit or the frozen figs.

 

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