Fresh figs are sweet and delicious, but have a short shelf life, so you can often only find them dried. For eating straight, you must refrigerate them and eat them quickly. However, if you are going to cook or bake with them, you can store fresh figs in the freezer and defrost them as needed for fresh fig taste all year round.
Choose figs that yield to gentle pressure when you touch them, as would a ripe peach. Don't buy figs that have a mushy texture; they are overripe and will rot soon.
Place the fresh figs into the refrigerator immediately.
Use within three days for the best taste and texture. They will start to get mushy after that and will likely begin to grow mold within a week.
Make a syrup by combining 3 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water. Bring it to a boil on the stove and then chill it. Add lemon juice or ascorbic acid to the syrup (1 tbsp. per cup) to stop the figs from becoming discolored.
Wash the figs and cut off the stems. Peel the figs and slice them, or you can freeze them whole if you prefer.
Place the figs into freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. Leave 1/2 inch of space per pint at the top of the bag or container to leave room for the figs to expand as they freeze.
Pour the syrup into the containers. The syrup should cover the figs, but still leave room for expansion. Seal the container tightly after removing as much air as possible.
Freeze the figs immediately in the coldest part of the freezer.