|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Serve these spiced, sweet-and-sour pickled figs with pork, turkey, or game meats. They are also delicious with hard cheeses, or simply eaten on their own as a snack.
- 2 pounds small figs (ripe and fresh)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup sugar (granulated)
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 slice ginger (about 1/4-inch thick and 1-inch diameter)
- 9 whole allspice
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 whole cardamom pods (slightly crushed)
Spiced pickled figs are especially good when made with Kadota or Adriatic fig varieties, both of which keep their light yellow-green color even when ripe. But you can use any other fig variety as well.
Wash the figs. Pierce each fig 2 to 3 times with the tip of a paring knife (this is to allow the pickling brine to permeate the fruit).
Put the water, sugar, cinnamon stick, ginger, allspice, cloves, cardamom pods, and bay leaf into a large pot over high heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the figs. When the liquid returns to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the figs in the liquid for 20 minutes.
Add the honey and apple cider vinegar to the other ingredients, stirring gently to dissolve the honey but not break up the figs. Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the figs start to appear translucent, about another 20 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the figs carefully into clean pint or half-pint canning jars. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe. Pour the hot liquid the figs were cooked in over the fruit, leaving half an inch of headspace between the surface of the food and the rims of the jars. Keep in mind that if you include the whole spices in the jars along with the figs, the spice flavor will intensify in storage. I usually strain out the smaller spices but add one of the cinnamon sticks to each jar as an attractive garnish.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp dishcloth or paper towel. Screw on the canning lids.
For long-term storage at room temperature, process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (adjust the canning time if you live at a high altitude). The pickled figs will keep, unopened, for at least a year. Note that once you open one of the jars, you will need to store it in the refrigerator.
You can also skip the boiling water bath canning process and simply put the jars of jam straight into the refrigerator. If you opt for this version, it is not necessary to use special canning jars. The jars of pickled figs will keep in the refrigerator for three months.