Cary, NC — If you are like me, you probably have rarely tasted a fresh fig. In fact, figs are so fragile and seasonal they aren’t often available at the supermarket.
Maybe you have had dried figs (one of my Dad’s favorite snacks) or maybe you have had fig jam or fig spread on a charcuterie platter when you were feeling fancy. Fig jam is a great addition to a meat and cheese platter as the sweetness is an excellent foil for the salty cheeses and fatty cured meats.
I search high and low to buy fig jam and it is a lot harder than you would think to find in Cary. Occasionally Harris Teeter has some, and sometimes Trader Joe’s has their version, called Fig Spread. This summer I have a supply of fresh figs and needed to do something with them fast because unlike grapes or strawberries they are very fragile and do not last long in the refrigerator. My husband said, “you better make some fig jam”.
I have had inconsistent results making jams in the past- many batches of strawberry jam have remained runny for me. So I was a little hesitant to get started, thinking I would waste my fresh figs in such an endeavor.
But I found a really easy recipe that promised few ingredients and not too much prep time. I gave it a whirl this week and the results were surprisingly awesome!
What You Need:
1 pound of fresh figs, rinsed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp vanilla extract
To Make the Jam
- Pull any stems off the figs, and puree them in a food processor until mostly smooth.
- Transfer the fig mixture to a medium saucepan.
- Stir in the sugar, water and lemon juice.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce to medium and keep boiling, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes a jam-like.
- Check that the mixture is starting to hold together, and is not drippy. For me, that was about 10 minutes. Your timing may be different depending on humidity and other conditions, so keep checking.
- When it has thickened, remove the pan from the stove, and stir in the vanilla.
- Carefully transfer into a clean jar (or jars) and screw on the lid, loosely. Allow to completely cool on the counter, and then tightly seal the jar and store in your refrigerator.
- Let the charcuterie snacking begin!
This is not a true canning recipe, so you should try and consume all of this jam within 2 weeks. To can the jam, you need to boil all jars and lids for at least 10-15 minutes and add the jam up to the rim into the hot jars, screw lids on tightly, and boil again for another 10 minutes after sealing. Then cool at room temperature before storing either in your pantry or in the refrigerator.
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