Friday, August 23, 2013

Figgy Jam

Figs

I'm deep in canning mode. This time of year calls out for all the fresh produce to be either eaten or preserved and I like to answer the call. I eat my fill and then preserve the rest for the dark months of winter when the only fresh produce I can find are winter squashes, kale and potatoes. Luckily I love all of the winter produce but sometimes my taste buds cry out for some summer goodness. 

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This past weekend, after a night of god-awful, horrible sleep, I climbed out of bed at 6:30 a.m. and started jamming. I was fuming from the neighbor's dog barking all night (which he never does!) and needed to calm down. While the rest of the house slumbered, I made Fig Jam and breathed. 

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Making jam really does bring one into the moment. You can collect your thoughts while the fruit and sugars bubble together. 

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Here is the Fig and Lemon Jam recipe I used to make 4 lovely half pints of jam on Saturday morning. I felt calmer once my jam was processed and I could hear the lovely ping of the jars. 
Fig and Lemon Jam

by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: Canning summer
Ingredients (2 pints)
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (commercial)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 pounds black figs, stem ends removed
Instructions
1. Prepare your jars for canning, using your preferred technique.
2. Remove the tip of the lemon and quarter it. Discard any seed and cut the quarters in half. Place in your food processor with 1 cup of the sugar. Process until very fine. Add the figs and process until coarsely chopped, do not fully puree.
3. Put the contents of the food processor into a large nonreactive pot and add the remaining sugar and lemon juice. Make sure to use commercial lemon juice to achieve the proper acidity.
4. Bring the jam to a low simmer over medium heat. Stir until the temperature reaches 200°F on your thermometer. I used a candy thermometer but an instant-read one would work just fine here. It took about 30 minutes for my jam to reach 200°F but yours might take as little as 15 minutes so keep an eye on it.
5. Leaving a 1/2-inch of headspace, ladle the jam into the jars. Wipe the rims clean with a clean towel before placing on the lids.
6. Process your jars in a hot water bath, making sure the boiling water covers the tops of the jars. Boil the jars for 10 minutes. Move to a clean dishcloth and leave for 24 hours. You should hear the delightful ping of the jars as they seal. Test your jars after 24 hours to see if they have sealed. If they have not, store in the fridge and use within a month. Otherwise store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.
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