It has been an incredible fig harvest from our 5 fig trees here in New Jersey. We have enjoyed tree-ripened figs all summer, and now that it’s autumn, the ones left on the trees are ready to be dried and stored for recipes throughout the winter.
There are a few different ways to dry figs. Truthfully, I never even thought of drying the remaining figs until my Italian husband told me how his mom used to sun-dry figs in Italy. Unfortunately, our N.J. weather is too cold and moist now so I have no choice but to use an alternative method to dry them.
With that said, we both agreed that oven-drying the figs was a better option. I started the process in the oven, and then transferred the half-dried figs to my food de-hydrator which can safely remove all moisture without you having to leave the oven on for hours. The dried figs will be used in my morning oatmeal, or just snacked on as they are. No need to dress them up with added sugars or flavors, the natural sweetness concentrates as they dry. They can be kept in a mason jar on your shelf all winter. And best of all these natural, organic dried figs do not contain sulfites or chemical preservatives.
Natural Dried Figs
A sweet summer treat that can be used all winter for snacking and recipes.
recipe by Gourmetmarichef
- 24-36 tree ripened figs
- Wash and cut the tops off of the figs. Be gentle as the figs are delicate.
- Cut the figs into 4 or 6 slivers, open them and arange them on a baking sheet, skin side down.
- Place the cut up figs in the oven on the lowest setting (125°) for 2 hours. You will notice the sugary juices beneath them as they are warming.
- You can leave them in the oven to absorb these juices for another hour.
- Remove the fig pieces from the oven and place them in a food-dehydrator for the remainder of the drying time. For best results, leave plenty of space between each one. It will take an additional 12 or more hours, even up to 24 hours total, to become hard and moisture-free. I left them in the de-hydrator overnight to insure they were completely dried. If there is any moisture on the larger pieces, place them back in the de-hydrator for another few hours. The most important factor in successful storage is that they are completely dried out.
- Place them in an air-tight container. They will keep fresh for months.
- They can be re-hydrated by submerging them in boiling water for 15 minutes. You can strain them or use the fig infused water for making your recipe, or morning oatmeal. These dried figs are super nutritious, providing abundant minerals and very few fats: nutrition facts for figs . They also make a great vegan addition to your granola or trail mix.