Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Making No-Pectin Fig Jam

Not too sweet. Beautifully fruity and earthy. Delightful on toast. Perfect with cheese or spread on a turkey sandwich.

We're talking about fig jam, peeps! Fig jam is sort of a curious thing–not at all what I usually expect in a jam but everything I never knew I wanted. 

Some of you may know, I have a huge fig tree in my backyard that is ripe with plump juicy figs. In fact, they are ripening so fast that I have just as many figs on the ground as I do in the tree! Picking the figs has been an interesting task, to say the least. The birds in my neighborhood LOVE figs, apparently. Hey, God provides for the birds, too. And boy are they loving it. So, I as I head out to the fig tree a few days ago, ladder in tow, a black bird decided it was offended by my presence. I mean, how dare I pick figs off my own tree! Mr. Black Bird perched himself on my roof and commenced to cawing as loudly as he could. Was he yelling at me? Was he warning the other birds in the area that the human has approached? Who knows.

As I climb the ladder into the tree, I see this:
Fig after fig totally picked over by the birds. And what they picked on that wasn't still hanging on the tree had fallen to the ground. BOO! 

I made the mistake in assuming I was going to have figs aplenty for fig jam. Alas, more than half the figs were already picked over by the birds. I was able to get a nice bowl full and with more figs ripening, I am making it my business to get out there and pick the next batch a little sooner so the birds don't get them all.

I retreated back to my house, bowl of figs in hand, and proceeded to wash them and make my first ever batch of fig jam.

Ingredients 

  • 1½ pounds fresh figs, stemmed and quartered 
  • ⅔ cup sugar (adjust as necessary for desired sweetness) 
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon 
  • 3 Tbsp. sherry (may substitute with water) 
  • pinch salt 
  • splash vanilla extract 

Instructions
In a large bowl, stir figs, sugar, zest, juice, sherry (or water), and salt to combine. Let macerate for 30-45 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large pot and set over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Continue to cook until mixture has thickened, 20-30 minutes.

If you like a chunkier jam, use a pastry blender or potato masher to cut up the fruit a bit. If you like a smoother jam, let mixture cool slightly then process in a food processor until desired consistency is achieved. Stir in vanilla. Once jam has cooled to room temperature, store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

This figgy jam is perfect for basting ham or roast turkey. I've even contemplated it with brie en croute. Mmm mmm good!

1 comment:

  1. I would love to try this! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete