The plentiful orchard surrounding my parent’s home includes a Black Mission Fig tree that started developing fruits in the spring. Since late July, over 300 figs have been harvested. The indigo skin and pink-red pulp are sweet and succulent. Most of the figs are ripe straight off the tree while a small number complete their ripening at room temperature.
So far, we’ve enjoyed the fresh sweet flavor of these figs as snacks and dessert, just served simply: washed, then cut-in-half or eaten whole.
More recently, we had such a bounty of fresh figs, that we decided to try and make fresh fig jam. The recipe is quite simple, itself — adapted from a mix of Internet recipes. This recipe makes 2 x 16 oz jars of jam. Enjoy!
- 2.5 lbs of black mission figs (washed, stems removed and chopped into small pieces ~8 pieces/fig)
- 1.5 cups sugar (granulated white + 0.5 cup if needed )
- 1.5 cups water
- 2.5 cm cube of ginger (washed peeled and chopped into 4 pieces)
- 1 large or 2 small cinnamon sticks
- 0.5 tsp vanilla
- juice of two lemons
Place a saucepan of moderate size on the stove, medium heat. Add the sugar, water, cinnamon and ginger to the saucepan. Stir the sugar every few minutes, as the mixture warms up. Depending on the sweetness of the figs, you may need to add an additional half cup of sugar (I did not need to add any more sugar). Once the sugar dissolves, add the chopped black mission figs, the lemon juice and vanilla. Stir the mixture. Then let the mixture come to a boil. Allow to boil for about 1 hour on medium-low heat. Stir every 15-20 minutes to prevent mixture from sticking to the saucepan. Once 1 hour is complete, remove the cinnamon and ginger pieces from the mixture.
To achieve the desired consistency of your jam, consider the following:
- Mash the mixture in the saucepan using a potato masher.
- Alternatively, allow the mixture to cool for about 30 minutes, then place more than half of it in a blender. Run the blender at a low speed until the pulp has broken up. This should only take 1-2 minutes. Do not over blend it. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Mix thoroughly.
Finally transfer the jam to glass jars and allow the jam to cool completely before capping the jars. The jam takes on a beautiful deep red hue! Refrigerate the jars.
This jam tastes great at tea time on toasted English muffins, for dessert on shortbread cookies, or as an appetizer with goat cheese and crackers.