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Jul 14, 2014

How to make Granny's Old Fashioned Fig (or pear!) Preserves

A breakfast at my granny's place is just not complete without the homemade biscuits and preserves.  Not to mention the bacon, sausage eggs and whatever else she might decide to throw on the table.  As a child I didn't much care for preserves - something about the mushed up fruits just set me to crying -but I sure did love the "syrup" that came along with them.  I don't mind the fruit that much these days ;-)

Anyway, back to the preserves... since we're inching along through summer and since she always had these on hand from her very own pear and fig trees... I thought I'd share my granny's method of making her preserves.  So lets get down to it, shall we?

This is a very simple but wonderful recipe (or formula if you will):

You'll need:
  • 1 part sugar to 3 parts fruit (however much you have on hand)
  • canning jars in the size you like best - granny uses pint size ones cause that's what she has around from all her other canning, plus you just can't have too much of these yummy preserves at any given time.
  • a pot large enough to hold the fruit and sugar mixture
  • a lid for the pot
  • some lemon juice (optional) to hold the color
  • water (if needed)

Now, here's how the magic happens:

Wash & cut up the fruit, small figs get halved while larger ones get quartered.  Pears get pealed before being sliced and chunked (spellcheck tells me that's not a word but I'm going with it.)
Put those lovely figs (or pears!) into the pot with the sugar and cover with the lid.
Put them on the stove but don't turn it on.  Leave them to sit covered for 8 - 12 hours or overnight.  Then uncover and look at all that yummy fruity goodness!  Now you can add the lemon juice (or slices or squeezed halves) if you choose.
Turn the stove on and bring to a gentle rolling boil.  Simmer/boil this until the fruit has cooked down a little and become soft.  Add a little water if there isn't enough juice to keep things going while boiling.  Ladle the hot mixture into your canning jars leaving about 1/4" headspace and seal with new lids (you can reuse the rims and jars as long as you make sure to sterilize them properly. 
That's it, let them seal up on their own (you can flip them over on their heads for 15 minutes or so but don't have to) no need to waterbath can them.  You should hear them seal within 30 minutes or so, if for some reason one or two don't seal, you can put them in the fridge or freezer.  That's it!  Easy peasy right?

I hope you'll give these preserves a try - personally I love these over fresh, buttery biscuits but you could have them on toast, waffles or even pancakes or maybe even pair them with a bit of pork roast or prosciutto  if you like... experiment and see what you think.  :-)

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you'll let me know if you give them a go or even if you don't I'd love to hear your thoughts on preserves or any other little thing you might like to share.

this post has been shared at one (or all) of these wonderful blog hops!


  1. First it was cornbread, and now you've got me wanting biscuits with butter and preserves! lol I've never had fig preserves, but I have had other fruit preserves, and they're wonderful. Thanks for sharing your granny's method. Have a wonderful week!

    1. These are pretty darn wonderful, if I do say so myself ;-) but maybe thats more to do with it being granny's preserves than anything else. Thanks for stopping by again for a visit!

  2. We have 4 fig trees so I will have to give granny's recipe a try! I would probably make the lemon juice a must though since figs are so low in acid (makes for a safer preserve). Just a thought... I also like the sugar ratio she used. Most fig jam recipes I have found are 1 to 1 and hubby has a hard time with all that sugar.

    And thank you for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! Please join us again next week :)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by again JES and for hosting the Art of Home-Making Mondays! The suggestion for the lemon juice is a good one too.

  3. This is the recipe my mom always used for fig preserves, I had forgotten exactly how, but thanks to you I can do this. I already have my figs "Sugared Down" as my mom would say, will finish them in the morning.....Thanks again.

  4. AnonymousJuly 28, 2016

    This recipe is the only one I have found that is like mine (my Grandmothers). It never fails and I love it I just made 3 pints tonight and thought if I could find a recipe like mine. Thank you

  5. You don't say how long to cook. I cook mine until the syrup is thick and the pears are translucent. My family doesn't like the grity taste some pear preserves have so cooking longer takes care of that. I cook my figs the same way.

  6. Just got my figs "sugared down" too. This recipe is simple and doesn't have a lot of steps to follow. My hubby loves fig preserves and I have learned to like them too. Looking forward to having some on hand!!


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