The way to make fig preserves is basically this.
- Get enough figs to fill a pot. (He was a bit vague on the size of the pot and how full it should be. I think this is one of those things that can be adjusted by tasting and experience.)
- Wash and clean the figs and return them to the pot.
- Cover the figs with sugar (1/2 to 1 cup).
- Set the pot in the refrigerator over night. The sugar will draw moisture out of the figs and create a syrup.
- The next morning, put the pot on low heat and cook the mixture down until it tastes right to you.
For those of you who want something less vague, the recipe over at bayouwoman.com looks just about perfect, only neither side of my family put lemons in the fig preserves. Well, I can't be sure they didn't use lemon juice, but certainly there were no visible lemons like in bayouwoman.com's recipe. Lemons occur in most of the recipes I've seen online (cooks.com, food.com, etc.), but they seem not to really be essential.