The only problem with having a fig tree is that they all ripen at the same time and are ripe for a very short time before going bad. For this reason, if you end up with a lot of fresh figs, using a dehydrator is the way to go. When the California Fig Commission sent me a flat of figs, I knew I was going to have to dry some of them. I also made smoothies, and balsamic fig dressing, and took some to a meeting where they paired beautifully with wine, cheese, chocolate, and salami (totally unplanned. I had them with the wine and chocolate.) Don’t miss Fig Fest San Diego this Sunday!
Wash the figs and let them drain a bit. Space them out on your dehydrator tray so they have plenty of air around them. The more densely you pack the dehydrator, the longer it will take. I dehydrated these brown turkey and green sierra figs at 135F/60C for two days. Keep checking the figs, as different sizes may be ready sooner. The more plump and juicy they are, the longer they will take. My trays lock together, and the figs were actually thicker than the trays when I started, so I simply stacked them knowing they would shrink and eventually the trays would fit together. The sugar from the figs dripped down and made a candy syrup on the bottom.Notes: Store the dried figs in the refrigerator. After reading Mimi Kirk’s book Live Raw Around the World I would recommend dehydrating them at 115F/45C, which would likely take another day. This preserves the optimal nutrition and enzymes, which are destroyed at higher temperatures. I’ll be reviewing and giving away Mimi’s book in the future.
Required FTC disclosure: The fresh figs were sent to me by the California Fig Advisory Board. I was not paid to write this post.