Generous friends with a prolific fig tree gave us about three pounds of these green figs a few days ago. They're Americans who live just a few miles upriver from us. Walt made a tart using the few figs we got from our little tree, plus some of these. I set about candying the green figs to preserve them for the winter. They're really good with cheeses like goat and Roquefort, and especially with foie gras.
The way to confire or "candy" the figs is to cook them in a sugar syrup. Put them one layer deep in a wide, shallow pan. Cover them with sugar as on the left. Set them on a burner at medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes and let the sugar melt. Add just a few drops of water if you need to as the figs get hot and start to release some juice.
Then set the pan aside and let it cool. Leave it in a cool place for 24 hours — I set it outside on the terrace, well covered. Then the next day, put the figs back on the heat and let them come to the boil. Simmer them again for 10 minutes, let them cool, and leave them in a cool place for another 24 hours. When you re-heat them, they plump up noticeably from absorbing the sugar syrup. Don't throw the syrup away — it's figgy and delicious.
On the third day, plump the figs up again by putting them back on the heat to simmer for 10 more minutes. Let them cool for a while. Then arrange them on a sheet pan on a silicone pad or parchment paper. Set the pan in the freezer. On the fourth day, take them out of the freezer and transfer them to a plastic container or bags. You'll see that they don't freeze hard because of their sugar content, but they won't really stick together and you can keep them for a few months in the freezer. Take a few out every week or so and enjoy.