I adore ripe, luscious figs but it seems they’re only available for a short time where I live, then there’s a crazy abundance of them all at once and it’s quite a challenge to eat them quickly enough while still at their peak! My solution to this dilemma is to prolong this delicious fruit, so therefore I make jam. This affords me time to savor and enjoy figs throughout Autumn and into Christmas if they last that long! I found this wonderful recipe in Marisa McClellan’s book “Food in Jars” and I haven’t changed one thing (except the time I added small lengths of vanilla pod to each jar – quite delicious although a little expensive, but justified as the figs were free from a neighbor’s garden). This jam is unlike the commercial kind that’s solid and gelatinous, it’s a soft set preserve that drips down the sides of whatever you slather it on. It’s also easy to prepare and a trusted recipe I’ve made many times and given to happy friends as a Holiday gift. Enjoy it on toasted bread with goats cheese and walnuts, or with your favorite stinky, blue cheese. A little pot of this jam on your cheeseboard will take it to a new level.
Makes Approx. 3 pints jars or 6 x 1/2 pint jars (or combination of 1/2 pint and 1/4 pint jars)
6 cups coarsely chopped Figs (about 2lbs whole figs)
4 cups Granulated Sugar
3 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 x 3oz packet liquid pectin (I used Certo Sure Jell)
1) Prepare a boiling water bath and place the jars to simmer over low heat to sterilize for at least 30 minutes. There is a wealth of information available online with detailed instructions on how to prepare jars and lids for safe processing. It is important you follow the safety guidelines so your jam stores properly and is safe to eat later on.
2) In a large pot, combine the figs and sugar and stir well to help the sugar pull the juice from the figs. After about 10 minutes, the mixture should look juicy, stir well. Place the pot over high heat and bring to an active simmer, stirring often so it doesn’t burn or stick to the base of the pot. Once the jam is simmering actively, cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring regularly until the figs have started to break down and the liquid starts to look syrupy.
3) Add the lemon juice and liquid pectin, stir well to combine and return the jam to an active boil for 5 minutes.
4) Remove the pot from the heat and carefully ladle the jam into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Please follow canning instructions for best practice.
5) Carefully remove the jars and set on a towel lined countertop and leave to cool overnight. The jam will continue to set up as it stores in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months (huh, who am I kidding – never kept it this long!). Enjoy!