Preserving figs in citric acid and brandy helps prevent the growth of microorganisms in the fruit, and boiling the mixture in canning jars produces an airtight seal. If you have leftover fig syrup when you are finished canning, strain and refrigerate it to drizzle over ice cream or to stir into iced tea.
- 2 lb. dried figs (preferably calimyrna), soaked in water and refrigerated overnight
- 1 1⁄3 cups sugar
- 1 1⁄4 cups brandy
- 1 tsp. citric acid
Drain the figs, then transfer to a 4-quart saucepan and cover with 6 cups water. Bring water to a boil over a high heat and cook for 15 minutes. Add the sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine, and return to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup brandy. Bring mixture back to a boil, then remove it from the heat and set aside.
Place four 1-pint canning jars along with their bands and lids in a 6-quart pot of boiling water and leave for 30 seconds. With tongs, transfer the jars, bands, and lids to a kitchen towel on the counter. Let air-dry. When the jars are dry, add 1⁄4 tsp. citric acid to each. Using a slotted spoon, remove the figs from the saucepan and pack them into the jars. Then pour the brandy syrup over the figs, leaving 1" of space below the rims of the jars. (Pour in more brandy if the syrup does not reach the top of the figs.) Wipe the rims of the jars with a hot damp towel. Cover and seal each jar with a lid and screw the bands on tightly.
Place the jars in a large pot fitted with a rack; pour in enough water to cover the jars by at least 3". Bring to a boil over high heat; boil for 20 minutes. (When using this recipe at altitudes of 1,001 to 6,000 feet, add 20 more minutes of processing time; above 6,000 feet, add another 5 minutes.) Turn off the heat; let sit for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a kitchen towel and let cool for 6 hours. Check the seals and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.