Kitchen Gift: Candied Figs

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      Candied Figs
      This is a 5-day process, but requires just a few minutes each day, and produces a lovely result that will keep pretty much indefinitely (store airtight).

      For 5 pounds of figs:

      6 cups, sugar – plus additional sugar for final coating
      1 1/2 cups, water

      Wash the figs well in clean, cold water.

      In a heavy-bottomed saucepan large enough to contain the figs comfortably, dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat, stirring often, until a clear syrup is formed. Increase the heat, and bring the syrup to a boil, then add figs and continue to heat until syrup returns to a boil. Cover, and set aside for 24 hours.

      After 24 hours, brings the fig mixture back to the boil, then cover and set aside again. Repeat process every 24 hours for a total of 5 times (5 days).

      After the 5th boil, drain the figs and place them on a rack to dry. [If it seems necessary, cool and taste one fig at various stages of cooking, to check the texture. Stop cooking when desired (tender) texture is reached, if it is sooner than described.]

      When drying figs on racks, each fig should be placed separately, do not overlap, for even drying. When they are almost dry (but still “tacky”), roll the figs in granulated sugar, or toss them, a few at a time in a bag or shallow covered container with granulated sugar to coat thoroughly. With your fingers, press the sugar into each fig, while pressing the pieces gently to flatten them slightly, if necessary.

      Cool completely [the figs are dry enough when two pieces will not stick together if pressed together] and store in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place.

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