We have an overabundance of figs. I mean a serious overabundance.
A bunch of you are wondering how I could ever think of that as a problem, but, really, I don’t even like figs. I’m not big on the flavor, and the seeds remind me of little maggots and just weird me out. Let’s not even talk about their shape and what they resemble.. I’ll just eat other fruits, thanks.
But when you have a giant fig tree in your back yard that produces infinitely throughout the summer, well, you gotta find something to do with them. So I give them away (I’m considering selling them due to the fact that I saw them at Farmer’s this weekend for $4/lb!), feed them to the dog, and then give up when the tree is about to fall over with all its fruit and make jam.
The funny thing? The jam is actually pretty good. It’s still too figgy for me, but I know some fig-loving people who love the stuff. And when combined with a bunch of peanut butter and smashed between some bread, it’s actually kinda good. In a weird I-don’t-even-like-this-stuff kind of way. I somehow keep finding myself sticking the spoon back in for just a little more. And the best part is that the seeds aren’t so noticeable and there is no off-putting shape! So that takes care of those two problems right there.
A lot of people are scared of making jam because of the need to “can” it – put it in special jars with special lids and boil the crap out of them until you’re sure everything is dead so that you can stick it in the back of your pantry and eat it a year later without getting sick. Sounds fun, right? Truth is, I really do like making jam – when I can afford the fruit and if AJ doesn’t get to it first (the guy really likes his fruit). But! There are easier ways. If you just make a small batch of jam, then stick it right into the fridge, you skip all the fancy equipment and don’t end up with enough jam to last you eons. Someday you’ll end up wanting to do the whole shebang (interested? Food In Jars is an amazing resource!), but this here recipe is good enough to get you started.
SO! If you are of the fig-loving variety, I wholly recommend you make this. I made it last year (but canned it) and gave it away as gifts to a few people who I knew loved figs. Each one raved about it, so I feel pretty confident (though totally weird) about putting this recipe on here, even though figs aren’t really my kind of thing. I do have an amazing recipe coming later this week that uses this jam, and I’m super into that one! Super stoked to share it with you guys. So get to makin’ this jam – even if you don’t really like figs – because you’re going to love what’s coming!
- 1 lb black figs
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- juice of ½ small lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pull the stems off the figs, then puree them in a food processor until it is mostly smooth (a few chunks are okay and give it some texture).
- Transfer the figs to a medium-sized heavy-bottomed (but not cast iron) pot. Stir in the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Turn on the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down a bit to medium.
- Boil, stirring nearly constantly, until it becomes jam-like in consistency. At this point it'll look kind of shiny and will fall off a spoon in bigger clumps or sheets, as opposed to small drips. If you are unsure, turn off the heat and place a bit of the jam on a cold plate (stuck in the freezer before you begin), let it sit for a minute or so, then check the consistency to see if it is jam-like. If needed, return to the heat for a couple more minutes.
- Once it is finished cooking, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Carefully transfer the jam to a clean jar. Screw the lid on a bit, but don't tighten it. Let it cool for an hour or so, then transfer to the fridge (still with a semi-loose lid). After it has cooled completely you can tighten the lid - it just gets stick if you tighten it while hot. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
- You could most likely go ahead and can this if you wish, but I have not tried it with this exact recipe, and therefore make no promises.