Friday, September 12, 2014

Here a fig, there a fig, any fig is nectar of the gods and goddesses

Kadota Fig Tree
Nectar of the Gods, well that's how figs seem to me. I have four trees, and am about to order some more. Each one is different, I have Brown Turkey, Kadota, Black Mission, Mission.  I have made figs in syrup, fig preserves, fig jam, but this first recipe is the bees knees, in fact it might be the only one I make next year.

Fig Marmalade
2 1/2 pounds figs,I used a combination of dark figs
1 pound (2 cups) sugar 
The grated zest of an organic lemon 
3 tablespoons scotch
Prep Time: 750 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes, add minutes if you are above sea level, I cooked for 60 minutes, because I'm located at 2000'
Wash and remove stems from figs, smash them open and add the sugar and mix well in a bowl.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap or tin foil,  and let figs rest overnight or at least eight hours. 

Next day pour mixture into a pot and heat them over moderate heat, stir often so figs don't scorch, until they come to a boil. 

Add lemon zest and scotch, reduce the heat, and simmer, skim away foam occasionally, until the mixture sets. 

Overnight melding
Pour marmalade into sterile jars, seal them (10 minutes in canning kettle + 5 minutes if above 2000'), sterilize them, and when they have cooled transfer them to your pantry.

Yield: 6 - 8 ounce jars, or 3 - 16 ounce jars.

I found and adapted the recipe from this recipe by Kyle Phillips

Fig Jam Simple Recipe

Fig Jam using Kadota Figs
3 pounds fresh figs, washed, remove stems
2 cups sugar
Juice and grated zest of one lemon
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1.5 hours

In a large saucepan, combine the figs, sugar, and lemon juice and zest. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat, stirring often. Cover and simmer over low heat for one hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens. When the mixture gets quite thick, begin to stir constantly to keep from scorching.

Test to see if the mixture is a firm gel, not runny.

Whilst figs are cooking, prepare the jars and lids. 

Fill the jars with the hot fig jam mixture, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims to ensure good seal. Place lids on jar.

Place jars into the hot water in the canner. Make sure you have about 1 to 2 inches of water above the jars. Bring to a boil  and time jars for 10 minutes.

Makes approximately 4 half-pint jars.

Fig Preserves
Fig Preserves
8 cups firm fresh figs
8 cups boiling water
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 lemon, unpeeled, seeded and thinly sliced

Combine figs and boiling water in steel bowl. Cover and let stand a room temperature for 15 minutes, transfer to sieve and drain. rinse with cold water and drain again.

In large steel pot, combine sugar, 4 cups of water and lemon slices. Bring to boil over high heat, dissolve sugar. Boil hard for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, remove and discard lemon. Turn down heat to medium high, and boil syrup. Add 2 cups of the figs and boil until they are translucent, remove with slotted spoon and place in a shallow pan (as shown in photo). Work in 2 cup batches, until all figs are poached. Boil the syrup until thickened then pour over figs in pan. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours, best overnight.

Prepare canner, jars and lids.

In large stainless steel pan bring fig mixture to boil over medium high heat, stir frequently. Remove from heat.

Ladle preserves into hot jars allow 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim. Centre lid on jar. Screw down band.

Place jars in canner, bring to boil and process for 10 minutes (add minutes depending on altitude), remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes then remove jars, cool and store.

Adapted from Ball Home Preserving 2006

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