Have you ever found yourself with a ton of figs during the short time that they are in season and unsure about what to do with them? We're sharing with you, the simple process of how to freeze figs along with helpful photos. By the end of this article you'll know exactly how to preserve them for future use!
During the short fig season (later summer through early fall), enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the burst of sweet flavor that this tasty fruit brings to the table.
What Are Figs?
Figs are the edible, delicious fruit of the common fig tree (Ficus Carica), a species of small tree or bush in the flowering plant family Moraceae. They are native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia, but have been cultivated since ancient times and are now widely grown throughout the world.
Did you know that California contributes a staggering 98% of the nation's commercial fig production and 100% of its dried fig production?
Items You'll Need for Freezing Figs
Here, you will find the basic items that you'll need and most likely already have on hand:
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Ripe figs
- Baking sheet
- Wax paper
- Freezer-safe bag or freezer-safe container
- Pen or marker for labeling
Step By Step Instructions
Fresh figs are known for having a short shelf life which is exactly why we wanted to share this freezing process with you. Below, you will find images along with step-by-step instructions for freezing whole figs or fig halves for later use. Either option will work well for large or smaller figs:
1. Wash figs and gently pat them dry with a few paper towels.
2. If freezing whole, place the flat bottom of the figs on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Place the tray inside the freezer, on a flat surface and flash freeze for 2 hours.
3. After removing figs from the freezer, place them in a freezer safe ziplock bag. Label the bag with the contents and date.
4. If freezing fig halves, wash and dry figs. Cut off the stems.
5. Proceed to cut figs in half, revealing the inside of the figs.
6. Place the halves in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Flash freeze the halves for 2 hours.
7. After flash freezing, place the halves in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag.
8. Remember to label bag with the contents and date.
How to Thaw Frozen Figs
Transferring From Freezer to Refrigerator:
- Move the container or freezer bag of figs to the refrigerator.
- Allow figs to thaw slowly for about 24 hours.
Thawing at Room Temperature
If you're in a hurry, you can thaw figs at room temperature.
- Place them on a plate and let them sit out for a few hours.
Use a Cold Water Bath
- Submerge, sealed freezer bag of figs in cool water. Ensure it's tightly sealed to prevent water from entering.
- Change the water every 30 minutes until the figs are thawed.
Once thawed, the texture of figs will be softer, and you can easily pierce them with a fork. Consume thawed figs promptly for the best flavor and texture.
Remember to adjust the thawing method based on your timeline and preferences.
While it is inevitable that the freezing process will result in a textural change by making the figs softer than they were prior to freezing them, there are a lot of delicious and different ways to enjoy this versatile fruit. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Make a simple syrup using our fig syrup recipe
- Homemade ice cream
- Fig newtons
- Fruit sauces
- Fig jam
- With goat cheese spread over a crostini or slice of toast
So there you have it, fellow lover of figs! Now you know how to freeze figs like a pro. Whether you're stocking up from the farmer's market during their short season or just snagged a great deal at the grocery store, freezing figs is a great way to savor their flavor for months to come. With a little prep and these simple tips, you can enjoy the natural sugars and taste of summer figs anytime, anywhere.
Just remember to defrost them slowly, embrace the slightly softer texture, and get creative with how you use them. From ice creams and fig preserves to decadent desserts, the possibilities are endless!
To prevent freezer burn which is when ice crystals start forming on food that has been frozen, you'll want to make sure that you remove as much air as possible from your freezer bags before placing your excess figs in the freezer.
Common Questions About How to Freeze Figs
Should I Blanch Figs Before Freezing?
Blanching is not necessary for figs. They can be frozen directly.
How Long Can You Freeze Figs?
Figs can be stored in the freezer for up to 10-12 months.
Should I Peel Figs Before Freezing?
Peeling figs is not required. Freezing with the skin intact is common.
Should I Thaw Figs Before Using Them?
It depends on the recipe. For some recipes such as smoothies or jams, using figs directly from the freezer may be suitable.
These common questions provide guidance on how to freeze figs for optimal preservation and later use.
Looking for other recipes and resources? Try these: