How To Preserve Figs

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to preserve figs?”, and discuss the different methods of preserving figs and the potential implications of preserving figs.

How To Preserve Figs

You can preserve figs by canning, freezing, pickling, dehydrating, and even fermenting them.  Thus, there are many ways of preserving figs so choose the ones that will benefit your family the most. The season for fig is short and comes twice a year. It is seen most figs start to ferment within a day or two of picking.

Canning Figs

Canning is a process in which whole figs are canned in a heavy syrup, usually with a little lemon. These are also termed as southern preserved figs. The addition of warming spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger can add to a lot of flavors.

Figs can be used to make a lovely jam. To make fig jam we use the following steps:

  • Mash the figs so taken from the market or garden (for more chunky jam, use chopped figs, nuts, and spices).
  • Add sugar and lemon, and keep for cooking. 
  • Depending on how many figs are there, can the jam and refrigerate it. 

Pickling Figs

Pickling figs can take a little longer than many of the other ways to preserve figs. Pickling figs is a two-day process.

On the first day,

  • Figs are picked, washed, and boil in vinegar brine with spices. 
  • Then these are kept in the refrigerator overnight.

On the second day, 

  • The fig mixture is removed from the refrigerator also alongside the spice bag is removed.
  •  The figs should be reheated before filling the jars.
  • The jars should be sealed properly and stored in a cool dark place.

Freezing Figs

Freezing the figs can be done with or without the peel, also dry or in syrup. To freeze the figs one has to:

  • Cut the stem of the fig. 
  • Add 3/4 tsp ascorbic acid or lemon juice to the syrup( help the figs retain their color). 
  • Toss them into a freezer bag and put them in the freezer. 
  • These figs can be dehydrated later if required.

Frozen figs can be used for smoothies and “mock” ice cream. Mock ice cream is just frozen figs and bananas blended with just a little bit of milk until smooth. Berries can be added for berry ice cream. Or add chocolate simple syrup for a chocolate ice cream. 

There are other ways to freeze figs. For instance, 

  • Cut the figs in half.
  • Freeze them on a cookie sheet properly spread on the tray.
  • Check if they are frozen.
  •  Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container. 

These would be good for baking.

Dehydrating Figs

Dehydrating figs is one of the conventional methods of preserving figs. For dehydration of figs, they should be ripe before dehydrating (under-ripe figs tend to get sour if they’re dried).

 For dehydration, small figs can be left whole but they must be checked to have their skins so as to make them dehydrate faster. 

Below given is how to check fig skins.

  • Bring a pot of water to a proper boil.
  • Fill another bowl with ice water for an ice bath.
  • Dip whole figs into the boiling water for about 30 seconds.
  • Remove the figs from the boiling water.
  • Put the figs in the ice bath immediately.
  • Once the figs cool down enough to handle, drain the water completely.
  • Pat the figs dry with a clean paper or kitchen towel before dehydrating them.

Large figs should be cut in half – but their skins don’t need to be checked. It’s found to be easier to just cut all figs in half for dehydration. Figs can also be added to other fruit to make fruit leather.

Fermenting Figs

Figs are seen to ferment very easily. That is why they need to be preserved quickly. That’s termed unintentional fermenting.

When intentionally fermenting figs, it is required to create an environment in which good bacteria can grow and bad bacteria cannot grow. It’s also known as  Lacto-fermentation. This method of fermentation is completely safe.

Figs can be fermented whole or also as in spread. It is seen that because of their high sugar content, fermented figs don’t keep nearly as long as other fermented produce. So it is suggested that the fermented figs should be prepared in small batches for convenience in use and less spoilage and waste.

Also, if wine is being enjoyed at home, a try can surely be made to make fig wine which will keep well longer than other means of preservation.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to preserve figs?”, and discussed the different methods of preserving figs and the potential implications of preserving figs.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.


How to Preserve Figs – can freeze, dehydrate, pickle, and ferment – SchneiderPeeps

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.