Recipe to Make Perfect Candied Figs, Apricots, or Pear Tomatoes

Candied figs
Candied figs. Jacobo Zanella/Moment Open/Getty Images
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 30 Candied Fruit Pieces
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Candying fresh fruit is a great way to preserve them while making a deliciously sweet and chewy treat to enjoy on its own or in your favorite recipes. The candied fig recipe is simple and old-fashioned, with only four ingredients, but it does take a little patience and love. 

In this classic recipe, your favorite candying fruit, whether they be fresh figs, apricots, or even pear tomatoes, are soaked in baking soda and water and then simmered in a sugary syrup until the sweet liquid is completely absorbed. Then you do as your grandmother would and leave the sweet fruit out in the sun to dry before storing away or enjoying a few bites.

Homemade candied fruit makes for a wonderful holiday gift from the heart, but they also make delicious ingredients in other dishes from savory appetizers to your favorite baked goods and puddings. Be sure to check out the suggestions below for delicious ways to use your candied figs and fruit.

What You'll Need

  • 4 quarts plus 2 cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 30 figs, pear tomatoes, or apricots
  • 11/2 cups granulated sugar

How to Make It

  1. In large a bowl, combine 4 quarts of water and baking soda.
  2. Add fruit of choice and soak for 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. In large saucepan, combine sugar and 2 cups remaining water and bring syrup to a boil
  4. Once boiling, add soaked fruit and simmer 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool. Leave covered overnight. 
  6. The next day, simmer mixture an additional 20 minutes and allow to cool. Repeat this process each day until syrup is completely absorbed. Sugar syrup may crystallize, which is fine. You can add a little more water when reheating to thin it out if needed. 
  1. When syrup is absorbed, dry fruit on waxed paper on trays in the sun, then dredge fruit with sugar and store in an airtight container.

Suggestions for Use You can enjoy your candied fruit on its own as a sweet treat or use it in your favorite recipes. For a savory appetizer, we love pairing homemade candied figs with chèvre or goat cheese and a little splash of balsamic vinegar glaze and maybe some chopped walnuts. Or you can use them in homemade fruit candies or paired with creamy vanilla ice cream or yogurt. The delicious combinations are limitless. We promise that you'll find several ways to use your candied fruit if you can stop yourself from eating them all!

Recipe Source: GRIT Magazine Cookbook - out of print, reprinted with permission. Though the GRIT Magazine cookbook is currently out of print, you can still find used copies floating around the internet. The spiral-bound cookbook contains recipes first published in GRIT magazine from 1970 to 1990, with plenty of old favorites to re-discover.