Drying fresh figs in the oven is a great way to preserve this fruit for the months to come. Dried figs are wonderful added to fruit cakes or eaten on their own as a healthy snack. Oven drying figs is a quicker method than using a dehydrator or sun drying.
Figs can be expensive to purchase at the store however a fig tree is easy to grow in the home garden if you have the room. It is suited to Mediterranean climates however some varieties can be successfully grown in other areas with cool climate varieties available.
Figs produce two crops in one season and will need regular watering and fertilizer when producing the fruit for the best results. See this Fig Growing Guide for more information.
Fresh figs need to be picked as they ripen or they become susceptible to pests such as ants and birds. They have a short shelf life lasting only 3 to 5 days when stored in the fridge so preserving this fruit is a must to extend its shelf life.
Drying Figs in the Oven
Figs will dry faster in a fan forced oven which helps to disperse the moisture in the figs. For conventional ovens; leaving the door ajar will help with air flow and prevent burning.
It isnt necessary to discard figs with blemishes on the skin. Simply slice off any damaged skin before drying.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Baking Tray
- Parchment or Baking Paper
- Cooling Rack This heavy duty stainless steel oven and cooling rack is oven and dishwasher safe, comes with a lifetime warranty and is highly rated on Amazon. (Paid link)
- Airtight Container
Time needed:6 hours and 10 minutes.
How to dry fresh figs in the oven.
Preheat the Oven
First preheat the oven to 212F (100C) for fan forced or preheat a conventional oven to 250F (120C).
Prepare the Baking Tray
Line a baking tray with parchment or baking paper to catch any of the fig juices then place a cooling rack on top of the tray.
Prepare the Figs
Wash the figs then cut off the top stem. Slice off any bad spots on the skin then cut the fig in half lengthwise.
Arrange on the Rack
Place the figs on the cooling rack with the cut side of the fig facing upwards.
Dry the Figs in the Oven
Bake on the centre rack in the oven for approximately six hours. Check after the 5-hour mark then every 15 to 30 minutes until dried. They are ready when the centre is still a little sticky and moist to the touch but all the excess juices have dried off.
Cool and Store
Leave the figs to completely cool overnight on the cooling rack then store in an airtight container labelled with the contents and the date dried.
Storing Dried Figs
Recycled glass jars with tight fitting lids are great for storing dried figs from the garden. Simply wash the jar out with warm soapy water, rinse with boiling water to disinfect the inside then leave to air dry before using.
It is best to store home dried figs in an airtight container in the fridge as they do retain more moisture than other dried fruits. They will keep in the fridge for 3 months.
For longer term storage place the dried figs in an airtight freezer container then store in the freezer for up to 12 months.
The figs will have an unpleasant or sour smell. Discard any dried figs which are showing signs of mould growth or discoloration.
If you dont have any storage containers consider these 16 oz. set of 6 mason jars with airtight hinged lids. They will look beautiful in your kitchen and are highly rated. (Paid link)
Add a few dried figs to your cereal in the morning then drizzle honey over the top for a healthy breakfast. You might also like this fresh Fig, Feta and Honey Salad recipe.
For more information about preserving food at home including tips on canning, freezing and drying food, see this Food Preservation guide.
Are you a homebody? This Homesteading guide covers everything from craft and DIY projects to growing your own food.
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