For my last post before our summer break, I wanted to leave you with one of the best things I’m eating right now: my quick fig jam. Not only because the figs at the market right now are bursting with sweetness and color, but this is just a great condiment to have on hand.
It couldn’t be simpler to make either. I stir the figs together with sugar, honey, and lemon juice and let them macerate for an hour or so to let the sugar bring out the juices in the figs. Then I gently heat it and cook it down until it’s naturally reduced and thickened; no fooling around with pectin or other gelling ingredients. It’s all-natural, and when refrigerated, will last for weeks, although I doubt you’ll have it around that long.
I use it on toast in the morning for breakfast, as a fancy substitute for Smucker’s in a pb&j sandwich and as a filling for tarts and pies, cakes, and muffins. I’ve even sprinkled in some chile flakes, vinegar and fresh apples or mangoes for a super quick version of fig chutney, which is great to slather on grilled chicken or salmon, not to mention pork chops. And speaking of grilling, this jam would also make a great base for your favorite BBQ sauce: simply use it in place of the sweetener in your homemade recipe, or simply stir it into any store-bought version you like for a little bit of earthy sweetness.
Quick Fig Jam
Makes about 4 cups
2 pounds ripe figs (I used Adriatic figs for the picture, but black Mission figs would work just as well)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Remove the stems from all the figs, then quarter each fig lengthwise and roughly chop the skins into about ½-inch pieces. Place all the chopped figs in a medium saucepan along with the sugar, lemon juice, honey and salt, and stir to coat evenly. Let sit for 1 hour, or up to 4 hours, to macerate.
- Place the pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring often to prevent sticking, until the jam is reduced, thickened, and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a glass jar with lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
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