Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Storing and Drying Fresh Figs







Handling and Storing Fresh Figs


Fresh Figs are very perishable and should be kept refrigerated. The skin is fragile, and often scars during the growing period from the leaves rubbing against the fruit. These marks do not hurt the flesh inside at all. Recommended storage temperature is 32 to 36 degrees F or 0 to 2 degrees C. Use figs as soon as possible. Under ideal conditions, fresh figs will store for as long as 5 to 7 days, or frozen in a sealed bag or container for up to 6 months.




 

Drying Fresh Figs:

To sun dry small quantities at home, wash the figs, cut away any imperfections and cut fruit in half lengthwise. Line the bottoms of well-ventilated boxes, wire racks or sheets of screening with a double layer of cheesecloth. Arrange a single layer of fruit in each so that pieces are not touching and set in full sun elevated several inches above the ground. Cover with tuille netting, tightly tucking the netting underneath the rack or screening to keep out insects.

If the nighttime temperature does not drop more than 20 degrees below the noontime temperature and the night air remains dry, racks may be left outdoors. Otherwise, it is advisable to dry figs indoors.

Turn the figs each morning. When the pieces are reduced in size and the skins are leathery, cut one open. If the inside is just slightly sticky, the figs should be heat-treated by placing in an oven at 110 to 115 degrees F for about 2 hours if they are to be stored for very long. Then, cool and place in airtight containers and store in a cool, dry place or place in tightly closed plastic bags and store in the freezer.




In more humid climates or when your in a hurry, oven drying is an option.
Wash the figs, cut away any imperfections and cut fruit in half lengthwise. Arrange a single layer of fruit on foil-lined baking sheets so that pieces are not touching and place in oven set at lowest temperature, 110-115 degrees F. Leaving oven door ajar and turning heat off and on to avoid heating figs above 135 degrees F keep figs in oven or dry at intervals turning them occasionally until they are reduced to about 1/4 their fresh weight, anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.


Cool and store immediately in airtight containers in a cool, dry place or place in plastic bags and store in the freezer.


before drying





3 comments:

  1. I love fresh figs...and I of course adore dried ones (especially during the winter months). Thanks for the informative post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love fresh figs...and I of course adore dried ones (especially during the winter months). Thanks for the informative post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am going to dry some figs in oven tomorrow and would like to leave them whole........guess it will take longer to dry them, huh,

    ReplyDelete

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