Saturday, September 14, 2013

In season: Figs!

If you are lucky enough to know someone with a fig tree, now's your chance to share in the harvest!

We are blessed to have amazing friends that allowed us to share in their bounty of Italian figs, that are growing like wildfire on her 5 year old, 12 foot tall tree. This is a special tree for more than the obvious reason. This tree was grown from a cutting her grandfather brought from Italy many years ago. Wow.

Figs need to be harvested when ripe, (as they won't continue to ripen once picked) so instead of baking in a rush, I made some delicious jam to savor through the year...

...with goat cheese some homemade fig newtons
...on hot biscuits for brunch

Here is a simple recipe for fig jam to try, even if it is your first swing at making and canning jam.

(Recipe adapted from Food In Jars, my favorite canning blog)

Makes 3 half pint jars.

3 cups chopped fresh figs
1 1/2 cups sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 packet of liquid pectin

1. Mix the figs and the sugar in a large pan and allow to macerate.

2.  When the mixture looks juicy, place the pan over high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Cook for 20 minutes and mash the figs with a potato masher to desired consistency. (I like mine only slightly chunky) You know you are on your way to success when it looks syrupy and is thicker when you stir.

3. Add the lemon juice and pectin and bring the mixture to an active boil for 5 minutes.

4. Ladle the jam in sterilized jars, wipe the rim clean, and close the lids "finger tight".

5. Process the jam jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

6. Allow to cool on a kitchen towel. Jars should "ping" when sealed.

7. Cool overnight and place your jam in a dark part of your pantry. Jam will stay fresh for up to 1 year.

(Once opened, place in refrigerator and use within 2 weeks)

BONUS! I found this AMAZING website called Jam Labelizer I am obsessed with where you can customize and print your own labels in seconds. Gift-worthy!


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