Makes 6 to 7 pints. Recipe is by Cynthia L. Nobles.
1 gallon (16 cups) firm fresh figs
Enough boiling water to cover figs
2 tbls. baking soda
8 cups sugar
2 cups water
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Rinse figs. Put in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water by 1 inch. Gently stir in soda and let sit 1/2 hour. (Soda toughens the skins so the figs stay whole).
2. Drain and rinse figs. Cut off stems and set figs aside.
3. In a large Dutch oven, combine sugar and 2 cups water. Boil briskly 10 minutes.
4. Lower heat to a simmer and carefully add figs. Simmer uncovered on very low heat until thick and syrupy, from 1 to 2 hours. Stir only if figs appear to stick to pot, and do so very gently.
5. While figs are cooking, sterilize lids and jars for canning. (Wash jars, lids and lid rings in hot soapy water. Boil jars 5 minutes. Boil a few inches water in a saucepan, remove from heat, and add lids and rings. Leave jars, lids, and rings in hot water until ready for use).
6. Add lemon juice to figs during last 10 minutes of cooking. Using a slotted spoon, place figs into prepared jars. Ladle syrup over figs until syrup reaches 1/4 inch from jar top. Wipe rims with a damp, clean paper towel and screw lids onto jars.
7. Process jars in a hot water bath 10 minutes. (Be sure water is at least 2 inches above jars). Remove jars from water, cool slightly and test for seal.