Use the freshest, ripe figs possible. They should be firm, not mushy, but also not green and hard. Only unbruised fruit should be used.
Wash immediately before use only.
This is a rich syrup to complement tangy fruit desserts: trickle a little over fresh orange segments and serve them as a topping for waffles or use the syrup with fresh orange juice to flavor homemade ice cream.
- 3 lemons
- 2 1/4 pounds (1kg) sound, ripe, fresh figs
- 1 3/4 pounds (800g) granulated sugar, for each 1 liter (1 3/4 pints) of liquid
- Use a potato peeler or sharp paring knife to pare the lemon rind thinly. No pith should be visible.
- Squeeze out and strain the lemon juice.
- Slice the figs and put them in a bowl with 4 pints/1.25 liters water.
- Add the lemon rind and juice. Stand the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook gently for 3 hours. Check to make sure that the saucepan does not boil dry.
- Strain the fruit through a dampened jelly bag or fine sieve lined with dampened cheesecloth.
- Measure the juice carefully.
- Pour the juice into a large saucepan and add the sugar.
- Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Skim the syrup and set aside until quite cold.
- Bottle, leaving a 3/4 inch (2cm) head space, and process.