Rehydrating Dried Figs

March 21, 2007  •  Fruit, Technique

I guess success really does breed success. I’m so enjoying doing my dinner journal that I felt compelled to create yet a new blog – this one devoted solely to posting all the culinary tips that run through my mind every day. My comments will cover everything from gadgets I can’t live without to techniques to ease your cooking tasks to indispensable information about ingredients. Please feel free to share your ideas and tips back with me through the comment button.

So here goes…my first tip!

If a recipe calls for fresh figs (which have a very short season) and you can’t find them, purchase plump dried figs and cover them 1 inch over the top of the figs in a pan with boiling water (stove turned off). Cover the pan and let them set for 2-4 hours and they will plump up so beautifully your guests will think they’re fresh. As a bonus, I discovered that the soaking liquid makes a great fruit tea to drink, or boil it to reduce it down and use it as a drizzle over ice cream.


40 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Mollie says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’ve read on other sites to only let the figs sit in boiling water for a minute or two. Is there a reason you recommend letting them sit in the water longer? Thanks again!

  2. Christine says:

    Hi Michele. So glad to have found your post. I was able to catch some organic black figs but when I went back for more it was too late. Rehydrating it is!

    Question: can rehydrated figs be roasted? I’m making both Honey Fig Jam and infusing vodka and gin; the gin recipe calls for roasted figs (& sage). It’s supposedly a fairly good copy of an amazing drink found only at Chambar in Vancouver, BC. It’s one of those that you dream of having again…..

    Anyway, I’m going to rehydrate turkish figs for jam and I can put them in the vodka. It’s just the roasting that’s in question.

    Thanks so much!

    • Michele says:

      I’ve never roasted them after rehydrating them, but I don’t know why it wouldn’t work. All the roasting is going to do is caramelize some of the sugars in the figs to develop flavors. I’d give it a try!

  3. Pascale says:

    really good idea about soaking the dried figs Thank you for this!

  4. Marie G says:

    Thank you for this suggestion. It worked like a charm. I served them with bacon on Cornish hens so they were roasted and delicious – so was the ‘fig tea’.

  5. Terri King says:

    Just wondering why dried figs are so hard to eat?

  6. PIERRE ROUGEY says:

    Thanks Michele for your explanation over dried figs, very helpful!

  7. Michele C. says:

    Thank you for the tip. I recently purchased dried Turkish figs, and they gave the driest skin I’ve ever seen on a dried fruit. I’ll try this method. Oh and we spell our name the same way. Hehe. Thanks for the post.

  8. Dan Stroh says:

    Sounds to easy but practical. Thanks

  9. Anita says:

    Thank you so much for your tip on re-hydrating figs. I want to make jam but was only able to get dried figs. The recipes I came across gave no indication of weights or measurements. Am looking forward to trying your tip out! Best wishes Anita Greyling

  10. Jeanneeliz says:

    Cooking with Michele.comThanks for the tip. I have a great salad recipe that calls for fresh figs. My friends want me to bring the salad for Thanksgiving dinner but fig season is over. Thanks to you, now I can bring my salad.

  11. Eric Samson says:

    I have abag that are chopped to a little bit smaller than raisins. Boiling water over them and they are good and soft in less than an hour so I put in Grape Nuts and yoghurt and ate them.

  12. Julieann says:

    All i can find is sun dried figs. I make a fig and prosciutto ravioli and was wondering if i can do the same with them? They come in a ring and are somewhat hard

  13. Anne Stroud says:

    For how long can the reconstituted figs be kept? Keep in some of the water/tea?

    • Michele says:

      Anne, I’ve never reconstituted them without using them right away, so I’m afraid I can’t answer that with any certainty. I would say keep them covered in the liquid used and in a covered container in the refrigerator.

  14. Shane Simmons says:

    Hi Michelle
    I have dried figs, but they feel (and taste) juicy. I am making fig balsamic vinegar for Christmas gifts. Do I need to rehydrate them first.? The recipe calls for fresh figs, but they are out of season.

  15. Kathie says:

    Thank you for this idea with figs

  16. Mark Taylor says:

    I read somewhere that fruit juice could be used to re-hydrate figs so I’m going to try using prune juice since it has a similar flavor. I’m going to try both boiled and room temperature fruit juice as well as the boiled water method.

  17. Christy Lupien says:

    Thank you Michele! This worked great for using re-hydrated figs for my flatbread recipe.

  18. Jane says:

    Thank you for how to plump dried figs! That is exactly what I was looking for.

    My Mother used to make Fig Bran Muffins. I think she used the classic Kellogg’s All-Bran recipe.

    But, she used canned figs! These are very hard to find nowadays. I bought some dried figs and I’m going to try making the muffins with plumped dried figs instead of canned.

    She used to make the bran muffin batter, fill a muffin tin about half full, then put a canned fig in, then cover the fig with more batter. Then, bake them.

    These muffins were delicious! Especially warm with butter. I’m hoping this will produce a close approximation of what she used to make.

  19. Ted Williams says:

    For those of us who are sugar and carb sensitive does anyone know the Glycemic Load (GL) of reconstituted figs? Is it the same as fresh figs or dried figs or neither?

  20. Sindia says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I am rehydrating my black mission figs as I write this comment! Thanks for the tip!! My question is if you think these will be a good substitute for the fresh figs required in a beef tenderloin recipe I want to prepare for guests?

    The instructions are: 1. Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC). 2. Rub 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, cracked pepper and salt over tenderloin. 3. Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in an ovenproof medium-size skillet on high heat. Sear tenderloin on all sides, about 1 minute per side. 4. Transfer tenderloin to plate and tent with foil. 5. In same pan add 1 tbsp olive oil and sear FRESH FIG HALVES for 2 mins on each side or until carmelized. Remove and reserve with tenderloin. 6. In the same skillet add 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and shallots and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft. 7. Add port, balsamic vinegar and thyme and bring liquid to a boil. 8. Place tenderloin on top of the shallots and place figs around the tenderloin. Bake on middle rack in oven for 50 to 65 minutes or until desired doneness.

    So they will be in the oven for an hour and not sure if they will dry out and harden up again. (Sorry for the lengthy post!)

  21. Michele says:

    Sindia, I don’t think they will harden up but you could always just add them at the end for a few minutes to heat up.

  22. Bob says:


    I am going to make a fig & onion jam & I was going to rehydrate my dried figs using a Ruby Port. Have you ever tried this method & what do you think?

  23. Barbara Johnson says:

    I really needed this to make a crostini with my figs & cheese. Glad it will be so easy!

  24. Charles says:

    Good info re converting dried to fresh-like figs. One other Internet blogger suggests ‘dusting’ the figs before pouring hot water over them. I wondered about that and why? His blog doesn’t have a comments section.

  25. Robert Rose says:

    Thanks for the advice.

  26. PegT says:

    I am doing pork tenderloin in an agrodolce sauce, which calls for fresh figs and grapes. I can’t find fresh figs but am not sure about dried figs in this recipe? What’s your thinking? I am tempted to try dates which I like more than dried figs. Would appreciate your thoughts.

    • Michele says:

      Sorry for the dallied response as I’ve been down with the flu. 🙁 I think dried figs would be a better choice because dates are so much more sugary and stickier and I don’t think they work as well.

  27. Domenic says:

    Just thought about this as I was eating a few dried figs
    After re hydrating. How long do they keep. And where can I store the rehydrated figs.
    I love figs. Plump fresh figs.
    So hard to find.

    • Michele says:

      So sorry I missed your comment – I’ve been traveling a lot! I keep anything like that in the freezer just to be safe. Once rehydrated they would be like a fresh food and spoil quickly.

  28. Lona says:

    Thank you so much!!! Making cornbread with figs!!

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