Of the hundreds of fig varieties grown, the amber-colored Calimyrna, from California, is most common in the United States. This is the kind we've used in our recipes. Black Mission figs, which are a little less sweet, are also widely available.
1 package (10 ounces) dried Calimyrna figs, stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 cups)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a medium saucepan, combine figs with sugar and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until most of liquid has evaporated and figs are easily pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 20 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a food processor; add lemon juice. Puree until smooth (add up to 1/4 cup additional water, if needed, to thin to desired consistency).
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