figs

The other fig jam…

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!

Easy, yummy.

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!)

Fig Jam

Ingredients:

1kg figs, diced

700g sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

Seeds of 1 vanilla pod

1 stick cinnamon

1 star anise

 

Method:

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.

Lets get figgy!

Figs

FIGS!!!

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love figs… and what a delight to not only have them in season right now, but also to have friends (2 sets of) who have large trees in their garden and are willing to give away bags and bags of these gorgeous black squishy beauties. I’m in fig heaven!

Coming home from one friend’s house the other day, loaded up with two large bags of figs (I’m estimating about 2.5kg worth) AND spare jars (as I didn’t have any) I was plotting and planning all the goodies I was going to make. Or get TC to make, hehehe.

So, first cab off the rank is fig and red onion chutney. Perfect with cheeses – perfect for us.

I used this recipe from Bay Tree Cottage and, I must say, I’m pretty pleased with the result. TC also seems to be, as there were lots of yumms and mmmmms coming from his side of the table as we shared a cheese board last night.

So what will be cuisiné in my kitchen tomorrow? Well a classic fig jam of course…  One of my friends commented to me yesterday that I’ve become very domesticated now, and with all the jams and chutneys I’ve been making lately, she might be right.

I hope you are also enjoying fig season as much as I am!  Reipe is below…  Figs 2  Caramelising the onions   Figs into the pot  Fig & red onion chutney

 

Fig & Red Onion Chutney

 Ingredients

 ·         850g fresh figs (13)

·         150ml balsamic vinegar

·         100ml red wine vinegar

·         300g soft brown sugar

·         zest and juice of 1 lemon

·         260g red onions (2)

·         2 teaspoons mixed spice

·         10g fresh root ginger or 1 teaspoon of dried ground ginger

·         1 tablespoon of olive oil

 

Method

Peel and thinly slice the red onion, peel and grate the ginger, remove the stalk from the figs and cut them into quarters. Zest and juice the lemon.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then put in the onion. Fry the onion for 5 minutes until it has softened and turned translucent and slightly caramelised.

Add all the other ingredients to the pan except for the figs, then season it with salt & pepper. Bring it up to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Once the liquid has reduced to a syrup add in the figs and cook it for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Pour the chutney into sterilsed jars, put the lids on and allow to cool.