Figs, while appearing sweet and inviting, harbor a fascinating botanical secret. These alluring fruits are in fact unique wonders of nature. Remarkably, each fig contains numerous achenes, offering a medley of flavors in every bite.
Unfortunately, their enjoyment can be compromised due to improper freezing methods.
So Can You Freeze Figs, And If Yes Then How Do We Freeze It?
Yes, figs can be frozen for up to 6-8 months. Wash, dry, and freeze them individually on a tray before storing them in airtight containers. Enjoy their sweet flavor in recipes or as a snack anytime.
How to Defrost Figs
Thawing frozen figs is quick and easy:
- Remove the desired amount of frozen figs from the freezer. Keep the remaining figs frozen.
- Place the frozen figs in a single layer on a plate or bowl.
- Allow figs to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to 1 hour until thawed and softened.
- Once thawed, figs will be juicy so drain any excess liquid before using.
- Use immediately in recipes or eat as a sweet snack.
- For faster thawing, place frozen figs in a colander and run cool water over them. Gently shake the colander to help release ice crystals.
- You can also microwave frozen figs on LOW power in 30-second intervals, gently stirring between each interval until thawed.
- Do not refreeze thawed figs. Use within 2-3 days for best quality.
How To Freeze Figs?
Freezing figs is a fantastic way to preserve their delicious flavor and nutrients for later use. Follow these simple steps to ensure your figs stay fresh and tasty:
- Choose Ripe Figs: Select fully ripe figs for freezing. They should be soft to the touch and slightly sweet-smelling.
- Wash and Dry: Rinse the figs gently under cold water and pat them dry with a clean towel.
- Prepare Figs: Remove stems and any blemishes. You can leave them whole, halve them, or slice them based on your preference.
- Arrange on a Tray: Place the prepared figs in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray, ensuring they don’t touch each other.
- Flash Freeze: Put the tray in the freezer for about 2-3 hours until the figs become firm.
- Pack for Storage: Transfer the partially frozen figs into airtight containers or freezer bags. Squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn.
- Label and Date: Don’t forget to label your containers with the date of freezing.
- Freeze: Place the containers in the freezer, where figs can stay good for up to 10-12 months.
- Thawing: To use frozen figs, simply remove the desired amount from the freezer and thaw in the fridge for a few hours or at room temperature for quicker results.
- Enjoy: Use your frozen figs in smoothies, jams, baked goods, or as a tasty addition to salads and desserts.
Discard any frozen figs that are over 12 months old or show signs of freezer burn like dry, shriveled texture. Always label your frozen figs with the date so you know how long they’ve been stored.
How to Store Figs?
Here are some tips for proper storage of fresh figs:
- Store ripe, fresh figs unwashed in the refrigerator in a shallow container or bowl covered with plastic wrap.
- Wash figs right before eating to prevent premature spoilage.
- Figs are very delicate. Avoid stacking them too high or they can bruise and crush each other.
- Use ripe figs within 2-3 days for best quality.
- For longer storage, figs can be frozen whole or sliced. See the directions above for freezing.
- Dried or canned figs will keep much longer. Store dried figs in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. Store canned figs for up to a year.
- Once opened, dried or canned figs should be refrigerated and used within a week.
How to Tell if Figs Are Gone Bad
Figs are highly perishable so it’s important to know when they’ve spoiled and become inedible. Signs that fresh figs have gone bad include:
- Mold growth – this appears as fuzzy spots or white, green, or black patches on the skin. Discard immediately.
- Very soft, mushy, leaking texture – figs should be slightly soft but not mushy.
- Shriveled, dry, or wrinkled skin – a sign of age and moisture loss.
- Unpleasant sour, fermented smell – fresh figs have a mildly sweet aroma.
- Crusty, sticky, or wet skin – figs may weep sticky sap when overripe.
- Presence of insects or holes in the skin – possible insect infestation.
- Dark or discolored inside when cut – the interior should look plump and juicy.
- Never taste figs if you suspect spoilage – discard them immediately.
How to Use Thawed Figs
Frozen figs are best used for cooked applications rather than eaten raw once thawed. The texture changes during freezing so they work well in baked goods, jams, compotes, syrups, or sauces.
Here are some ways to use thawed frozen figs:
- Make fig jam or chutney by simmering figs with sugar, spices, and vinegar or lemon juice.
- Use chopped figs in muffins, pieces of bread, scones, cakes, or cookies. They add moisture and sweetness.
- Simmer figs in wine or fruit juice with honey and spices to make a compote. Serve over ice cream, yogurt, or pancakes.
- Pure figs into a smooth sauce to drizzle over cheesecake or pound cake.
- Fold diced figs into oatmeal cookies, granola bars, or yogurt parfaits.
- Simmer figs in red wine and serve over grilled meats like pork or chicken.
- Roast figs drizzled with honey and serve over vanilla ice cream for an easy dessert.
Thawed figs also work great in savory dishes like rice pilaf, quinoa salad, bruschetta, or roasted veggie flatbreads. Get creative with these sweet thaw-and-use fruits!
Q1. What is the best way to freeze figs?
A1. The best way is to wash figs, pat them dry, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze them, and then transfer them to freezer bags or containers.
Q2. Can you freeze figs without cooking them?
A2. Yes, fresh uncooked figs can be frozen raw. Simply wash, dry, and freeze on a tray, then transfer to bags.
Q3. How long do figs last in the freezer?
A3. Frozen figs will maintain quality for 8-12 months stored at 0°F before texture and flavor decline.
Q4. How do I use frozen fresh figs?
A4. Frozen figs are great added to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods, jams, compotes, or thawed and served over ice cream.
Q5. Can you freeze the figs in a freezer bag?
A5. Yes, figs can absolutely be frozen in freezer bags once they are spread in a single layer and frozen first to prevent sticking.
Q6. Can you freeze fresh figs to make jam later?
A6. Fresh figs can be frozen raw to use later for jam-making. Thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking into jam.