8 cups (4 pints) chopped figs 3 cups sugar 2 (2-inch-long) knobs of gingerroot 2 small lemons 1/2 cup lemon juice
In a large bowl or dish, cover the chopped figs with the sugar and mix lightly to make sure the figs are thoroughly coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Peel the gingerroot with a swivel peeler and chop it finely. Wash the lemons, cut them into quarters lengthwise and remove all the seeds you can see; then slice the quarters very thinly crosswise. You will have thin triangles of lemon with peel still attached. Search out and discard any remaining seeds.
Transfer the figs and sugar, with any liquid that has accumulated, to a large saucepan or a deep skillet. Add the chopped gingerroot, the lemon slices and the lemon juice and heat over medium-low heat to keep the mixture just bubbling. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and preservelike; watch carefully toward the end and stir often. (Cook to a consistency slightly thinner than what you want the preserves to be, as the preserves will “set up” as they cool.) This may take up to 2 hours, depending on the moisture content of the figs.
Ladle the preserves into clean, sterilized jars and store in the refrigerator, or proceed with water-bath canning steps.