Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fresh Fig Jam

It seems that in the late summer and early fall I can't seem to see my Nonna without acquiring a ton of fresh figs.  Want to know a secret?  I don't really like them.  I don't like their mushiness.  I don't like their overly-sweet-ness.  I like dried figs, in recipes.  But I don't really want to eat fresh ones.  That being said, you do not refuse food presented to you by an Italian grandmother.  I always try to turn them into something I do like, for example, a peach and fig crisp.  This time, I considered drying them.  This is an area of food preservation that I would like to explore one day... but now is not the time in my life for that.  Maybe next year.  I'm still getting a grasp on the whole canning thing, and trying to rescue myself from an avalanche every time I open my freezer.

I ended up doing a Google search for fig jam.  I was looking for a recipe that would leave me with small chunks and introduce some interesting flavors without using any hard-to-find ingredients.  I ended up using this recipe with Grand Marnier and lemon zest.  I think it turned out delicious.

For the most part, I followed the recipe.  I tried to peel the figs, but that ended real quickly when I realized how annoying it was.  Luckily the skins are so thin that they pretty much disintegrate in the pot anyway.  I also cooked it down just a little bit longer, and gave it a "whaz" (Jamie Oliver says that and I think it's HILARIOUS) with the immersion blender since it was a little more chunky than I wanted.

For me, the recipe filled three 8-oz jars and one 4-oz jar with only about a spoonful left over (for tasting, of course).  I put two in the freezer, gave one to my mom, and kept the 4-oz jar in my fridge - it should keep for quite a while, according to the recipe.

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