As many of you will know, its fig season and I am lucky enough to have friends giving me plenty of them! The other day I made some awesome fig & red onion chutney, which is going down well. TC even had some this morning with his smoked salmon and eggs for breakfast. I guess that means I have the seal of approval as resident chutney maker.
But today’s job is fig jam. This will be my first attempt, having only made what I think of as ‘regular’ fruit jams up until now – you know the regulars: apricot, strawberry, raspberry, etc.
So with figs aplenty in my kitchen, here I go. Now, I am also branching out a little by using a recipe that’s just been given to me verbally, with one or two little tweaks added in. Two of my friends here in France are experienced fig jam makers; one kindly told me his recipe and the other suggested a tweak (adding one star anise) that he likes for a subtle difference to the flavour. I also added my own tweak (adding the cinnamon stick), just because I like cinnamon and it goes hand in hand with vanilla. In my world anyway.
The first thing my friend suggested to do is prepare all the ingredients, put them in a bowl together and let them marinate overnight so the flavours have more time to soak in before cooking.
The next day, simply transfer to a pot and cook it all up. Don’t forget to remove the star anise and the cinnamon before pouring into the jars!
Have a look at what I’ve done with the vanilla though… some of you may remember my post about making your own vanilla essence, which is what I’ve done and its been happily infusing away in the back of a dark cupboard for many months now. To use the vanilla seeds, all I had to do was snip the end off one of the beans and squeeze the seeds out. Oh my… my fingers had the most beautiful vanilla aroma on them all evening. Delicious.
Actually, I think I’ve even impressed myself!
Oh so what was the other fig jam? Oh you must know it… the acronym f.i.g.j.a.m … ? (ok, just discovered it’s an Australian thing!)
1kg figs, diced
Juice of 2 lemons
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
Mix together all ingredients in a bowl and stand overnight.
Put everything in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, testing for the set.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the star anise and cinnamon then pour into warm, sterilised jars.