Figs Pickled In Balsamic Vinegar and Herbs De Provence
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups water
6 allspice berries
4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 fresh or dried bay leaves (divided)
1 piece dried orange peel, about 2 inches long, plus 3 additional pieces,
inch about 1 long (divided)
3 1/2 pounds firm, ripe figs, such as Mission or Adriatic
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 fresh thyme sprigs, each 2 inches long
3 fresh rosemary sprigs, each 1 inch long
Wash 3 half-pint jars; fill with hot water until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.
Meanwhile, cut out an 8 inch square of cheesecloth. Place in the center the allspice berries, chopped thyme and rosemary, juniper berries, 1 bay leaf, and the 2 inch-piece orange peel. Gather up the corners and tie them with kitchen string to make a spice bag. Add the spice bag to the syrup, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Divide the balsamic vinegar equally among the jars (1/4 cup in each jar).
Ladle the hot syrup into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving 1/2 inch head space.
Repeat the procedure with remaining 2 jars.
Process the jars in a boiling-water canner for 20 minutes (25 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 30 minutes above 6,000 feet).
If you don't want to process the jars, store them in the refrigerator (up to several months for best quality).