• Michelle

Fig Jam - Back to Basics 35

I love fig jam. It is one of very few jams where I am tempted to scrape the empty pot and lick the spoon. In spite of, or perhaps because of, being a jam maker, I eat very little jam. I love apricot jam, and we will make that together next week if the cockies and possums leave me any apricots. I love orchard fruit jam, which is a jam I make with apricots, peaches, apples and pears that reminds me of eating tinned two fruits and ice cream as a child after Sunday lunch. And I love this jam, this one is probably the closest a jam gets to being a confectionary instead of a condiment and it is just beautiful.

I will not be making this jam with you today as it is not me with the embarrassing fig glut. That honour goes to my study buddy Chloe who is a chef like me, who is studying nutrition like me and is just as sweet as this jam. I am hoping if we smile at her very nicely she may provide us with a picture of her finished products for this post.


Something pretty for this spot right here would be perfect thank you Chloe.



As always before we begin a preserves recipe remember, cleanliness is next to earth motherliness in the Cookie House, so if you have not yet read the Preserves - Getting Ready post, go and have a look at that one first so you can make sure you have sterilised your lids and jars properly so that all your hard work is not wasted by your jam deciding to grow its own head of hair. Off you go, I will wait.


Ingredients


Makes about 22 x 150ml jars


1500g figs

500g apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped

650ml water

250ml lemon juice

2kg sugar

Additional flavouring if you wish (I add 45ml of white port but that is gilding the lily really)


Get your jars and lids ready first, always. Ready? Okay, let’s go.


Pop the apple, lemon juice and water into a big pot, we are talking at least a six litre pot, bring to a gentle simmer and let that collapse a bit while we turn our attention to these figs. Figs are one of those fruits that absolutely fills the old adage, one rotten apple will spoil the whole barrel, strawberries are another where jam is concerned, and this is the point at which we prevent that. See, the problem is, a fig can look perfect from outside, but cut it in half and it may be fermenting or full of maggots or full of mould. We do not want any of those things in our jam. So, we cut the stem off each fig and we cut it in half and then we have a look and a good sniff of each half, your nose will tell you if it is no good, and believe me, you will know a fermenting fig when you smell it. Fermenting figs go to the chickens, who absolutely love them, and are great fun to watch when they get tipsy! Good fig halves go into a large heatproof bowl, keep going until you have your 1500g of halves. Now, pour over enough boiling water to cover them, leave for five minutes then drain. In batches by hand or in the food processor, chop the figs finely and add to your simmering apple mixture. Cook for about ten minutes or until your fig and apple bits are tender (it always smells like zucchini at this stage to me, which is bizarre) and then add your flavouring if you are putting one in, and your sugar, stir until the sugar has all dissolved and then turn up the heat and boil the living daylights out of it, stirring very frequently until it is thick and jammy and passes the wrinkle test we spoke about in the last couple of jam recipes we have done, as a reminder, we pop a saucer in the freezer, drop on a spoonful of jam when we think it is done, return to the freezer for thirty seconds and then push our finger through it, a jam that will set will wrinkle up against our finger like this.


Pour the hot jam into the hot pouring jug and then into the hot jars, lids on, tighten and invert to prevent steam build up. Continue until all of the jam has gone and then you can scrape the pot and lick the spoon like I do.


A word of warning here, fig jam spits like a camel in a blue funk, so full hazmat gear please, long sleeves, hat, safety glasses, we do not want you covered in burns for the sake of a jar of sweetness. As always Cookie House people, safety first please. Xxm





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