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How to Make Homemade Candied Figs - Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs

How to Make Candied Figs- Easily!

Click here for a PDF print version (coming soon!)

Making and canning your own candied figs is also quite easy.  Here's how to make it, in 12 easy steps and completely illustrated (I have more photos yet to add). These directions work equally well for regular sugar, low sugar, fruit juice-sweetened and Stevia (in a prepared form like Truvia, it measures same as sugar; if you use another form, you will need do your own conversion) - or Splenda, if you prefer, -sweetened jam.

For more information about figs, see Fig Picking Tips.  See How to Make Homemade Fig Preserves and Fig Jam and How to Can Figs and Other fig recipes. See this page for Blueberry Jam directions, and for strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, peach, etc., and other types of jam, see this jam-making page!

For easy applesauce or apple butter directions, click on these links.

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Fruit - fresh figs - about 4 dozen medium to large figs (about 11 lbs) makes 7 pint jars (16 ounces each) of jam.
  • Lemon juice - either fresh squeezed or bottled. Alternatively, Citric acid (brand name, fruit fresh).
  • Water - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar - About 8 lbs of dry, granulated (table) sugar. It is possible to make low-sugar,  fruit juice-sweetened, or Stevia (in a prepared form like Truvia, it measures same as sugar; if you use another form, you will need do your own conversion) - or Splenda, if you prefer, -sweetened fig jam; I'll point out the differences below.
  • Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)- Big box stores and grocery stores sometimes carry them; and it is available online - see this page. It's a tremendously useful to put jars in the canner and take the hot jars out (without scalding yourself!). The kit sold below has everything you need, and at a pretty good price:
    See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon
  • 1 large pot; I prefer 16 to 20 quart Nonstick ceramic coated pots for easy cleanup.
  • Large spoons and ladles,
  • 1 Water Bath Canner (a huge pot to sanitize the jars after filling (about $30 to $35 at mall kitchen stores, sometimes at big box stores and grocery stores.). Note: we sell canners and supplies here, too - at excellent prices - and it helps support this web site!
  • Half pint canning jars (Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger, Safeway carry them, as do some big box stores - about $7.50 per dozen pint ounce jars including the lids and rings)
  • Jar funnel ($5 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) or order it as part of the kit with the Jar grabber .
  • Lids - thin, flat, round metal lids with a gum binder that seals them against the top of the jar. They may only be used once.
  • Rings - metal bands that secure the lids to the jars. They may be reused many times.

Optional stuff:

  • Lid lifter (has a magnet to pick the lids out of the almost-boiling water where you sanitize them. ($4 at big box stores or it comes in the kit at left)

Fig Canning Directions

This example shows you how to make canned (or bottled) jam; regular or with added seasoning. The yield from this recipe is about 7 pint jars.

Step 1 - Pick the figs! (or buy them already picked)

It's fun to go pick your own and you can obviously get better quality ones!

At right is a picture I took of figs from my own tree - these are a variety called Celeste - see this page for more information on various types of figs, how to select the variety and how to pick them!

To pick your own, here is a list and links to the pick your own farms. just select your area!

FYI, Figs are REALLY easy to grow and also make an attractive landscaping tree!



Step 2 - How much fruit?

It depends upon how much you want to make. I generally use pint jars for canned figs. An average of 11 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. That's about  4 dozen medium to large figs.

If you are using quart jars, an average of 16 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; An average of 2-1/2 pounds yields 1 quart of canned figs.






Wash the jars and lidsStep 3 - Wash the jars and lids

Now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used.

NOTE: If a canning recipe calls for 10 minutes or more of process time in the canner, then the jars do not need to be "sanitized" before filling them. But really, sanitizing them first is just good hygeine and common sense!  See this page for more detail about cleaning and sanitizing jars and lids.

Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 10 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.

Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot jam. Some newer dishwashers even have a "sanitize" setting.

Step 4 - Get the lids warming in hot (but not boiling) water

Lids: put the very hot (but not quite boiling; around 180 F, steaming water is fine)
water (or on the stove in a pot of water on low heat) for at least several minutes; to soften up the gummed surface and clean and sanitize  the lids.Canning jars

Canning lids - where to get them online Widemouth Canning lids - get canning jar lids here through AmazonNeed lids, rings and replacement jars?

Get them all here, delivered direct to your home, at the best prices on the internet!




Step 5 -Wash the figs!

I'm sure you can figure out how to gently wash the fruit in plain cold water.

You  need to cut off the stems and the bottom of the fig, but you should not need to peel them.  Don't use overripe or nasty looking ones (example photo below)

Figs, Brown turkey


At left, sample figs with unappealing peels (skins). 


At right is a sample slice of a perfectly ripe but not over-ripe fig.  It depends on the variety, but generally, they should be pink/yellowish and not brown inside....




Step 6 - Prepare the Crock-Pot (Slow-cooker)

To a crockpot (5 quarts or larger),  add 1/2 cup of water and a little sugar - just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Diabetics: You can use Stevia (in a prepared form like Truvia, it measures same as sugar; if you use another form, you will need do your own conversion) - or Splenda, if you prefer, instead. Note: You can use a regular pot instead of a crockpot... if you want to stand there stirring it for hours.... Me, I'll use a crock-pot and multi-task.

Step 7 - Add the figs

Then begin layering figs (whole) and 8 pounds of sugar - alternating the two (again, those on sugar-restricted diets can substitute Stevia (in a prepared form like Truvia, it measures same as sugar; if you use another form, you will need do your own conversion) - or Splenda, if you prefer, /sucralose). I believe you could also use a naturally sweet fruit juice, like white grape juice, but I haven't tried it yet.

The pot should be full and sugar should be the last layer.

Step 8 - Cook the figs

Allow them to cook on medium heat (5 or 6 setting on electric stove) - You should always start by setting the stove or crock pot on low or medium heat.  I would recommend starting with low heat because you do not want to risk burning it! If it doesn't get hot enough to reduce in 12 hours, bump the setting up to the next position, and watch more carefully, in case that turns out to be too hot!

The goal is to cook gently until the syrup will not run "fast" off the spoon when cool. The syrup should just drip slowly off the spoon. Foam will have turned from white to light brown. You can remove the foam, but that's just to make it look prettier in the jars. It won't hurt the flavor or canning process.

How long will it take?  That depends  If the figs are juicy, as they will be if they were picked after a rain, it may take 10 hours, otherwise, just 8 hours.

Keep the extra syrup in the fridge - it's just too good to wash down the drain! Gently boil the figs in syrup for 5 minutes. 

Step 9 - Add the lemon juice

Add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice per quart jar or 1 tablespoon per pint jar to each of the jars.  The acidity of the lemon juice acts as a natural preservative. Alternatively, you may add 1/2 teaspoon citric acid (also goes under the brand name "fruit fresh") per quart or 1/4 teaspoon per pint to the jars. This is to increase the acidity and help prevent discoloration and spoilage.

Step 10 - Fill the jars with figs and syrup, put the lid /rings on and put in the canner

Fill jars with hot figs and cooking syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Fill them to within 1/4-inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.


This is where the jar tongs and lid lifter come in really handy! Place them into the canner.

Putting jars into the water bath cannerStep 11 - Process the jars in the boiling water bath

Keep the jars covered with at least 2 inches of water. Keep the water boiling. In general, boil them for 45 minutes at sea level.  I say "in general" because you have to process (boil) them longer at higher altitudes than sea level, or if you use larger jars, or if you did not sanitize the jars and lids right before using them. 

To adjust, process according to the recommendations in the table below:

 Recommended process time for Figs in a boiling-water canner.

 Process Time at Altitudes of
Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 3,000 ft 3,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Pints 45 min 50 55 60
Quarts 50 55 60 65

Step 12 - Remove and cool the jars - Done!

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.

Once cooled, they're ready to store. I find they last about 18 months. After that, the get darker in color and start to get runny. They still seem safe to eat, but the flavor is bland. So eat them in the first 12 to 18 months after you prepare them!

Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs
    to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter
    - to remove lids from the pot
    of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lids
    - disposable - you may only
    use them once
  4. Ring
    - holds the lids on the jar until after the jars cool -
    then you remove them, save them and reuse them
  5. Canning Jar funnel
    - to fill the jars

Canning tool kit

You can get all of the tools in a kit here:

See here for related tools, equipment, supplies on Amazon

Summary - Cost of Making Homemade Fig Jam - makes 7 pint jars, 16 oz each**

Item Quantity Cost in 2024 Source Subtotal
Figs 11 lbs (about 2 gallon, or 4 dozen large figs) $10.00/gallon Pick your own $10.00
Canning jars (8 oz size), includes lids and rings 7 jars $11/dozen 8 oz jars
or $0.92/jar
Grocery stores, like Public, Kroger, Safeway and sometimes, Big Lots, local hardware stores and big box stores $8.50
Sugar 4.5 cups $2.00 Grocery stores, like Public, Kroger, Safeway and sometimes, Big Lots, local hardware stores and big box stores $2.00
Total $20.50 total
or about $2.93 per pint jar

* - This assumes you already have the pots, pans, ladles,, and reusable equipment. Note that you can reuse the jars! If you already have jars or reuse them, just buy new lids (the rings are reusable, but the flat lids are not)!

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