The author and cook, Heather

Whole Fruit Fig and Lemon Preserves

Deep Run Roots

The season for fresh figs is fleeting but the harvest can be abundant, so if you are lucky enough to have a tree (or access to a friend's), you may need lots of ideas for saving them. This is a great one! It's a super simple whole fruit preserve, so the end product is more of a syrup with cooked fruit in it than a jam. If you decide you want jam later, you can cook some of this down and mash up the fruit, and there you go.

Vivian Howard suggests several ways to use this, including over ice cream or in a sauce for meat. How would you use it?

You can find this recipe online here:

Serving Size1/2 cup
Carbohydrates59g (1g fiber, 58g sugar)


[00:00]: [Music]
[00:04]: hello and welcome to cooking the books
[00:06]: with heather today we're going to be
[00:09]: cooking once again from vivian howard's
[00:11]: deep run roots cookbook because it is
[00:14]: fig season again in north carolina and
[00:16]: we were gifted with a large bag of figs
[00:19]: from our neighbor
[00:21]: now my husband's already made another
[00:23]: batch of fig and honey bourbon slush
[00:26]: i'll link that up here so if you have a
[00:28]: ton of figs you can go ahead and make
[00:29]: that as well
[00:31]: but we are going to be making whole
[00:33]: fruit fig and lemon preserves
[00:37]: we're going to be making a half batch
[00:38]: because i didn't have quite enough to
[00:40]: make a full batch so
[00:43]: i took half
[00:44]: of the amount that she says and um
[00:48]: the rest are now in the freezer because
[00:50]: they were very ripe and probably would
[00:53]: have started going moldy in the
[00:54]: refrigerator real soon so
[00:57]: most of these are pretty
[00:59]: uh pretty firm but a few are a little
[01:02]: squishy but that's okay they weren't
[01:04]: moldy um
[01:06]: so they might get a little extra uh
[01:08]: squishy when we cook these
[01:11]: but she she says you want perfectly ripe
[01:14]: figs for these and these were
[01:16]: nicely ripe so that's good um
[01:20]: i've already rinsed them and i took the
[01:22]: stems off she says she doesn't
[01:25]: do what you prefer she likes the way
[01:27]: they look
[01:28]: in the final product so
[01:32]: the thing about this is we need to mix
[01:34]: some stuff up and then let it sit in the
[01:36]: refrigerator for six hours
[01:39]: or overnight so we're going to go ahead
[01:41]: and do this now and in about six hours
[01:44]: it'll be kind of late but we'll we'll
[01:46]: cook it at that point it'll be about
[01:49]: when we're cooking things for dinner and
[01:50]: really
[01:51]: once you get it going you don't have to
[01:53]: pay attention to it
[01:55]: um
[01:56]: so
[01:57]: and it's a lot like um
[02:01]: so her other book
[02:03]: her new newer book this will make it
[02:06]: taste good has something in it called
[02:07]: sweet potential and this really seems
[02:10]: like just a
[02:12]: fig version of that and in that recipe
[02:16]: you can make it with any kind of fruit
[02:17]: but
[02:18]: i've made it i don't think i've made it
[02:21]: on camera for you guys but i've made a
[02:23]: couple versions for our own use at home
[02:26]: this year
[02:28]: but hopefully i'll be making
[02:31]: that
[02:32]: for you guys on camera soon maybe we'll
[02:34]: see i might do a fall version because we
[02:37]: haven't done that before
[02:39]: anyway so it's really simple
[02:41]: three ingredients we have our figs
[02:44]: whole
[02:45]: we have
[02:47]: quite a lot of sugar um this is
[02:51]: half the amount
[02:53]: like i said
[02:54]: um
[02:56]: of everything
[02:57]: and we have some very thinly sliced
[03:00]: lemons
[03:02]: without the seeds so it's really easy to
[03:04]: pull the seeds out as you
[03:07]: as you slice them and i
[03:09]: basically sliced until i could see
[03:12]: the fruit and and sliced up about half
[03:15]: of it and there we go now we're supposed
[03:17]: to toss this
[03:19]: gently
[03:21]: i was going to do this just you know the
[03:22]: chefy way with the bowl but i'm totally
[03:25]: going to get sugar everywhere if i do
[03:27]: that so i'm going to get a spatula a
[03:31]: maybe maybe a yeah
[03:34]: i'm gonna be very careful but some of
[03:36]: these will likely get a little mashed up
[03:40]: extra mashed up while i toss it
[03:43]: i'm gonna be very careful about that
[03:45]: just kind of
[03:48]: get down the sides
[03:50]: and i think
[03:52]: that is probably
[03:55]: good for the stirring
[03:57]: this is going to go in the refrigerator
[03:59]: for six hours like i said or overnight
[04:02]: and
[04:03]: i expect that some of the sugar will
[04:06]: leech out some of the juices from the
[04:08]: fruit
[04:09]: and we'll probably have a nice puddly
[04:11]: mess
[04:13]: when we take it out not a mess but you
[04:15]: know juicy
[04:17]: and we'll see you then
[04:19]: so our figs and sugar and lemon have
[04:22]: been in the refrigerator for
[04:25]: probably about eight hours almost now
[04:28]: and you can see there's a lot of juice
[04:30]: and not all of the sugar has dissolved
[04:32]: yet but
[04:33]: we're ready to go ahead and cook it so
[04:36]: we're going to gently put it in this she
[04:38]: says use a dutch oven um this is a
[04:40]: pretty heavy sauce pot
[04:43]: uh four to six quarts for the full
[04:45]: recipe this is a four quart so that
[04:47]: should be
[04:50]: fine as far as the size goes
[04:53]: i'm just gonna try and get all the sugar
[04:55]: out of here as much as i can
[04:58]: i'm going to keep this around to stitch
[05:00]: my
[05:02]: spatula in because i won't really be
[05:04]: needing it all that much
[05:06]: um in fact
[05:08]: we're supposed to not stir this very
[05:10]: much because the more you stir it
[05:14]: the
[05:16]: more you
[05:17]: might break up the fruit and the point
[05:19]: of this is to have mostly whole fruit in
[05:22]: this
[05:23]: so she says to bring it up to a boil
[05:25]: over medium heat and i got that time i
[05:27]: got time for that not tonight
[05:29]: um
[05:31]: everything always takes longer when
[05:33]: we're filming it takes longer than we
[05:34]: expect and
[05:36]: always
[05:37]: so i've got it on high heat i'm going to
[05:39]: bring it up to a boil
[05:43]: and then as soon as it comes up to a
[05:45]: boil we're going to put the heat the lid
[05:46]: on
[05:47]: put the lid on
[05:49]: make sure it gets a good simmer so on
[05:52]: this it's usually about a three and that
[05:55]: will keep it
[05:56]: simmering and we let it go for about an
[05:58]: hour um
[06:00]: so she says about an hour
[06:02]: but at 45 minutes you should check them
[06:07]: i'm gonna turn it down a little bit
[06:11]: make sure it's still
[06:13]: at a boil
[06:16]: trying to get more of the stuff off of
[06:18]: my spatula
[06:21]: just by putting it in there
[06:22]: there we go
[06:24]: um
[06:25]: so i think it is
[06:28]: close to boiling at least on the edges
[06:35]: some in the middle
[06:38]: so
[06:41]: i'm gonna make sure it still boils as i
[06:44]: as i turn it down
[06:47]: all right i'm gonna put the lid on now
[06:50]: and i'll probably turn it down in just a
[06:52]: little bit um as it gets to a really
[06:56]: full boil with the lid on but we're
[06:59]: gonna let it go for 45 minutes and then
[07:01]: we're gonna check it so
[07:03]: we'll see you in 45 minutes
[07:05]: okay so our 45 minute timer hasn't quite
[07:08]: gone off yet it has probably three
[07:10]: minutes left on it at this point but i
[07:12]: think they're excuse me i think they're
[07:14]: probably done
[07:16]: um
[07:17]: i was checking them and so she says to
[07:19]: basically put
[07:21]: the spoon in and then drag your finger
[07:25]: along the back of the spoon and if it uh
[07:28]: if it immediately covers itself back up
[07:32]: then
[07:33]: it's not done you cook it longer
[07:36]: but if you your
[07:39]: finger
[07:40]: mark stays for any length of time
[07:43]: they're done and so this is
[07:46]: pretty good i think
[07:48]: so i'm going to turn it off i did kind
[07:50]: of boil them a little high for a while
[07:52]: they they boiled over a little bit but
[07:56]: these are done um
[07:59]: i'm going to
[08:01]: excuse me i'm going to put them in
[08:04]: a quart jar and i have a half pint in
[08:07]: case there's any leftover she says the
[08:09]: full recipe makes three pints
[08:13]: so the half recipe
[08:16]: might fit in the quart jar i don't know
[08:18]: we'll see
[08:19]: she says they keep in their refrigerator
[08:21]: for
[08:23]: about two months or you can process them
[08:26]: for about five minutes uh just like jams
[08:29]: and and jellies and then they will keep
[08:32]: you know
[08:33]: not indefinitely but for much longer
[08:36]: at room temperature
[08:39]: so hang on we'll let you know what we
[08:42]: think in just a minute
[08:44]: [Music]
[08:52]: on this episode of cooking the books
[08:54]: with heather you watched me make
[08:56]: whole fruit fig and lemon preserves from
[08:60]: vivian howard's deep run roots cookbook
[09:03]: now this is a lot like
[09:05]: uh the sweet potential that she has in
[09:08]: her this will make it taste good
[09:10]: cookbook
[09:11]: which is basically any kind of fruit
[09:14]: lemon and sugar
[09:16]: cooked together and then it's basically
[09:19]: the whole fruit preserve
[09:21]: this came first
[09:23]: um this is the recipe in deep run roots
[09:25]: uh we have done that i don't think we've
[09:27]: done it on the channel but i have done
[09:29]: it
[09:30]: uh from this will make it taste good
[09:32]: just to have just to sort of have some
[09:35]: strawberry and blueberries needed to use
[09:38]: those up before they went bad so i made
[09:40]: some of that um and we've been using it
[09:42]: for drinks and
[09:44]: cocktails and
[09:46]: whatever
[09:47]: uh but you can we use this as a
[09:51]: syrup or i use this as a syrup on some
[09:54]: eggo waffles just because i happen to
[09:58]: have those
[09:59]: and i had those for
[10:01]: breakfast the next day and it was really
[10:02]: good it is very very sweet i'm sure you
[10:06]: could cut down the sugar especially if
[10:08]: you aren't
[10:09]: um
[10:12]: if you aren't going to can it then you
[10:13]: don't have to worry about the the sugar
[10:15]: levels and all of that
[10:17]: but if you're just going to put in your
[10:18]: refrigerator and keep it for a while or
[10:20]: freeze it
[10:21]: sure would freeze fine
[10:24]: you could
[10:25]: bring down the sweetness if it turns out
[10:27]: to be
[10:28]: too sweet for you
[10:31]: but it was it was pretty good on the
[10:33]: waffles as a syrup instead of syrup
[10:36]: butter some of this it's pretty
[10:37]: delicious
[10:38]: and i can eat
[10:41]: cooked figs
[10:43]: usually
[10:44]: um
[10:45]: i really want to make a fig cake
[10:48]: using these
[10:50]: that is something that we have
[10:52]: had before um
[10:55]: figs are really popular around here and
[10:59]: um we've been to a
[11:01]: they grow
[11:02]: like crazy around here and we've been to
[11:05]: a bed and breakfast on ocracoke which
[11:07]: served us fig cake for
[11:09]: both breakfast and snack and it's really
[11:12]: a spiced cake using fig preserves and
[11:15]: it's
[11:16]: really delicious and so i do plan on
[11:19]: using these to make one of those here
[11:21]: soon
[11:22]: but you can use it like you would use
[11:24]: any sort of preserve
[11:28]: she also says that you can put them on a
[11:30]: scoop of ice cream
[11:32]: um
[11:33]: or
[11:34]: simmer them down
[11:36]: with some red wine sherry or balsamic
[11:38]: vinegar
[11:39]: and use that as a condiment for grilled
[11:41]: meats so i'll have to think about that
[11:43]: too that's sort of like
[11:45]: adding the vinegar or and the red wine
[11:47]: or
[11:48]: whatever that's sort of like making a
[11:51]: barbecue sauce
[11:53]: right so
[11:54]: a condiment for grilled meats that would
[11:56]: be pretty good because you get the sweet
[11:58]: and then the tangy the acidicness from
[12:01]: the wine or the
[12:03]: vinegar i think that would be delicious
[12:07]: anyway
[12:08]: if you enjoyed watching me make this
[12:10]: please give me a thumbs up hit the
[12:12]: subscribe button and come back and watch
[12:13]: me make something else next week
[12:15]: [Music]