I hadn’t planned to make jam this week, really. But, I walked into Zanotto’s on Wed at noon and there were 4 baskets of figs……..just sitting there……..waiting. I brought them home and started the Spiced Fig jam. This is not a Christine Ferber recipe. In fact, I’m not too keen on the fig recipes in her book – they seem too sweet. This one is from someone named David Pascoe who is from Australia or New Zealand….somewhere down under. It’s a 2 day recipe and I’ve been making it for several years now.
2.2 lbs of figs, topped and bottomed……cut into the size you want. I like mine halved.
The first season of figs in the year is quite short and I didn’t make any jam then. I wasn’t expecting the “real” harvest until a little later in the summer. These must be from the Central Valley. My figs are still green and growing. These weren’t all as ripe as I’d like, but OK. After I got a few really ripe figs from my tree, I realized that the slight musty flavor that you find in commercial figs is not there in a fig that’s been picked when completely ripe. It kind of spoils you, you know? Still, I doubt that I’ll get 2.2 lbs of figs from my tree at once, so these will do. And, I’ll check back later with the orchard guy for his – they should be perfect!
3.5 cups of sugar, 1T of allspice, 1T of cinnamon and juice of 1/2 lemon
This mixture mascerates for 2 hours, then into Fannie and slowly to a boil. Simmer for an hour – a whole hour! You don’t have to watch and stir it every minute but you don’t want it to stick. Already it’s beginning to smell wonderful!
Don’t bring the mixture to a boil too quickly. Patience. The fragrance of the cooking jam fills the house with the essence of a fall afternoon – all spicy and sweet. Then after the hour, into a bowl and wait overnight. The next day the recipe calls for boiling for another 15 minutes before jarring. Sometimes, tho, it’s already jam consistency and it just needs to get good and hot before ladling into the jars. This batch was really ready last night.
Yield: 4 8 oz jars and 1 4 oz jar and enough left in Fannie to be certain it’s a good batch! I’m also making creme fraiche ice cream and cream cheese dough hand pies tonight. We are having a dinner party at my boss’ house tomorrow after work. We all like to cook and my boss has a kitchen the size of an airplane hangar! We decide on a menu and then get together and cook and eat like queens! I’m bringing the ice cream and hand pies made with spiced fig jam, strawberry/raspberry/basalmic and either blackberry or blueberry jam. I’ll bring a jar of the chocolate and pears to spoon over the ice cream, in case anyone hasn’t developed diabetes yet. I’ll post photos of the little pies later – it’s an old Martha Stewart recipe, I think. They are quite tasty!
Here they are!