From August to early October fresh figs are available and can be used for making wine as well as eaten in a variety of way. They do not keep or transport well so if you want to make wine from fresh figs you have to do so during their season. When buying figs look for plump soft fruits without splits or bruises. If they are a bit under ripe they can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days. The idea situation is to have your own fig tree but most are only hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10 so not available to everyone.My paternal grandmother, Helen S. Wright, never lived in an area warmer than zone 7 but in 1909 included a recipe for English fig wine in her book, Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wine. Where she got the fresh figs to make the wine is a mystery to me but her recipe clearly calls for them.
Here is the recipe for English fig wine in the words of my grandmother:
Take the large blue figs when pretty ripe, and steep them in white wine, having made some slits in them, that they may swell and gather in the substance of the wine. Then slice some other figs and let them simmer over a fire in water until they are reduced to a kind of pulp. Then strain out the water, pressing the pulp hard and pour it as hot as possible on the figs that are imbrued in the wine. Let the quantities be nearly equal, but the water somewhat more than the wine and figs. Let them stand twenty-four hours, mash them well together, and draw off what will run without squeezing. Then press the rest, and if not sweet enough add a sufficient quantity of sugar to make it so. Let it ferment, and add to it a little honey and sugar candy, then fine it with white of eggs, and a little isinglass, and draw it off for use.
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