Full of sugar and sunshine, dried figs are intimately linked to the Mediterranean. It is also around the Mediterranean that they are mainly produced. However, it is very simple to dry your figs, harvested from July to October, depending on the variety, often in abundance. Especially since figs contain antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients, they will allow you to prolong the summer again and again.
Discover how to dry figs using three methods: in the sun, in a dehydrator, or in the oven. And above all, which varieties to choose to obtain succulent dry sheets?
A fruit tree that is not very demanding in terms of maintenance and soil, the fig tree benefits from a wide range of varieties which allow it to acclimatize in different regions of the world. The fig tree just requires good exposure to the sun and shelter from cold winds.
If the fig trees are distinguished by the coloring of their fruits, from white to green, passing through red, purple, and black, they also differ by harvest period. Uniferous varieties produce one harvest per year from August to October. Biferous varieties produce two harvests, in July and autumn. Some varieties are also said to be self-fertile and do not require the presence of other fig trees or the blastophage, a pollinating insect. Therefore, it is necessary to consider these notions to make the right choice.
Figs are harvested from July to October, depending on the variety
However, you may also want to grow a fig tree to make your homemade dried figs. In order to produce dried figs with an incomparable taste, it is essential to choose very sweet figs that have the ability to dry and retain their flavor.
There is not a fig that looks like another fig. Whether round, elongated like a pear, more or less fleshy, more or less firm, sweet, fragrant, or juicy. The Fig is a fruit that can be eaten raw, harvested, or cooked in pies, jam, compote, or chutney. It is also a fruit that lends itself easily to drying, providing you choose the most suitable variety.
In order to obtain a dried fig, firm and tasty, it is important to choose figs full of sugar and not too juicy since the drying of figs consists of evaporating, by different techniques, the water, which constitutes 80% of the fruit. The size of the fruit also comes into play: the small fruits are dried whole, and the larger ones are cut in half.
The Ficus carica ‘Goutte d’Or’ Fig is ideal for drying.
It is quite possible to dehydrate figs in the oven without cooking them. Admittedly, it is a little long, but the drying will be perfect. The secret lies in the very low temperature.
The steps to obtain a creamy dried fig:
It is the ideal appliance for dehydrating fruits and vegetables because the operation is much faster than the oven. Just wash the figs, dry them, and cut the stem as short as possible, and larger fruits will be split in half.
Larger figs can be cut in half before being dried.
Then place them on the dehydrator tray that you set to 40°C. Depending on the model, drying can last from 4 to 20 hours.
It is parred excellence the traditional drying, which requires a little patience and constancy. You also have to deal with the sometimes unpredictable weather in certain regions. Because by definition, to dry figs in the sun, you need the sun. And an atmosphere without any humidity.
To enjoy your dried figs for as long as possible, you need to store them in a perfectly airtight plastic or glass container, in an iron box, or even in a closed plastic freezer bag.
Store them in the refrigerator or a dry place away from light for one year. Do not forget to indicate on a small label the date of drying.
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