Soak the figs in the vinegar and leave overnight. The next day drain off the vinegar and reserve it. Using a potato peeler, peel the lemons and then juice them. Put the vinegar, lemon peel and juice in a heavy pot and add all the remaining ingredients except the figs and bring to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes before adding the figs and then cook over a moderate heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into hot, clean jars, seal and cool. Leave for two to three days before using.
© 1997 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.