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FIG PRESERVES 
2 qts. (about 4 1/2 lb.) figs
7 c. sugar
1 1/2 qts. water
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 lemons, thinly sliced

Cook figs 15 to 20 minutes in boiling water to cover; drain and set aside.

Combine sugar, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 quarts water in a large Dutch oven; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Add figs; return to a boil and cook 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Add lemon slices and boil 15 minutes or until figs are tender and clear. Carefully remove figs with a slotted spoon; boil syrup an additional 10 minutes or until it reaches desired thickness. Return figs to syrup; skim off foam with a metal spoon.

Quickly ladle preserves into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace; cover at once with metal lids, and screw bands tight. Process in boiling water bath 30 minutes.

Yield: 5 half-pints. These preserves are very good and very pretty BUT I sometimes put the figs in the processor or blender and chop them fairly fine before returning them to the syrup. This makes a delicious jam to be eaten "as is" or used in cakes or cookies. Proceed to put them in jars and waterbath as with the preserves.

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