When I was growing up my closest connection to figs were in the Fig Newtons my mom used to buy. I wasn’t a big fan.
Then came the bunko game a few years ago. We all brought a dish to share and the only thing I remember from that night of eating was the basket my friend Leigh brought. It had a small dish of fig jam in it and I don’t recall, but I’m sure I ate the entire thing myself. I could not believe that was what figs really tasted like.
After that I became obsessed with figs. We bought a small fig tree the first year, with no results. The next year we bought more fig trees and solicited advice from the sales rep. He knew more than we did apparently, because that year I harvested five figs. (yes, I did say the number five). This year, we tried netting, something for the bugs and some fertilizer and we have a bumper crop! I have so many that I can make Fantastic Fig Spread!
I don’t know where Leigh got this recipe from but I’ve made it before and it truly is fantastic. In the past when I have made it (from store-bought figs) I have followed the recipe exactly. This year I opted to add a little orange flavor to it and it was…..dare I say it?…FANTASTIC!!
This is an easy recipe and if you’ve never canned anything before this would be the one to start with. Give it a try. You will love it so much that next year you’ll be planting fig trees like I did.
As Ina Garten would say, “How easy is that?” Enjoy!
Fantastic Fig Spread
- 2 pounds fresh figs, trimmed and quartered (I would chop a little smaller)
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 12 ounces dried figs, stems trimmed and chopped
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
Note: you can add 2 tablespoons orange zest and 1/2 orange juice to the above ingredients if desired.
Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover, and cool overnight.
Stir jam, and bring to a boil over medium-high het. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until jam is thick, stirring often.
Meanwhile, sterilize jars and lids: Submerge jars in a large pot filled halfway with simmering water, and lids in a small pot of simmering water. Keep jars and lids in hot water until ready to use.
Remove jars one at a time from hot water and fill with jam, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Seal with lids. Place canning rack or cake rack in bottom of a large pot, and return sealed jars to pot, adding extra water to cover jars by 1 inch, if necessary. Bring water to a boil and boil ten minutes. Remove jars from water and cool completely.
**Once cool, check lids. They won’t have that “pop” in the center. If they do, use them immediately or throw away.