Friday, July 20, 2012

Dirt to Table Experience: Fig and Vanilla Jam

My fig tree is loaded down with ripe figs. The feeling when I am pulling the branches down low to pull the fruit is a delightful one.  I am not even cussing at the birds who steal their fair share of the fruit. The small figs are perfectly ripe and their brown skins are soft to the touch. This season included a good amount of rainfall (thanks tropical storm Debby) and with that good early summer rainfall, our fig tree did not disappoint.

This year we picked  about 15 -20 lbs of ripe figs off our single tree.

What the heck do you do with pounds and pounds of fresh figs that have a shelf life of almost zero once picked from the tree?  Of course silly, you make jam!

This is a densely fruited jam that can be served with sweet or savory food, or with cheese and cold ham sandwiches. The hint of vanilla is a really nice addition.  Did I mention how easy this jam was to make?



Fig and Vanilla Jam
Makes about 2-1/2 lbs. or 3 medium jars


Ingredients:
1-1/2 lbs. (675g) ripe figs with soft skins, trimmed and cut into quarters
Zest and juice of 1 organic lemon, washed
1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise
3-1/2 cups granulated sugar

Directions:
1.  Put the figs in a preserving pan or a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with lemon zest and juice, chopped apple, and vanilla pod.  Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the figs have softened and broken down.

2.  Add the sugar and cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar has all dissolved.  Then bring to a boil and cook at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes or until it reaches the setting point.  Skim away any residue as it cooks.  Remove the pan from the heat while you test for a set ( temp at 220 F.)

3. Carefully remove the vanilla bean, then ladle into warm sterilized mason jars, leaving 1/4-inch (5mm) headspace.  Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes then cover, seal with two-part top, and label.  Store in a cool, dark place, and refrigerate after opening.

Enjoy!

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42 comments:

Tracey@Breathing English Air said...

Sounds absolutely delicious. All I need now is the fig tree!

The Japanese Redneck said...

thanks for the recipe

was looking for another way to use my figs

Ellen B Cookery said...

I have such an obsession with figs! What an awesome recipe!

rosaria williams said...

Oh, what I would give to have fresh figs again!

Hungry Dog said...

I love fig jam and lucky you to have such bounty! So good on so many things! Toast, sandwiches, tarts...have a nice weekend, Velva!

traduction anglais said...

That looks wonderful!

Penny said...

Figs are so adaptable. I love them. My Son recently picked a fig from a tree near the golf course he was playing and loved the taste. He thought he hated them because of the fig newtons I gave him as a child. LOL.

Elizabeth said...

This sounds so delicious!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

there's something very special about figs and making them into jam sounds sublime,
Mary x

Angie's Recipes said...

What a fine jam! I have never had fig jam...It looks really tempting and delicious.

sangeeta said...

Wow. Lovely picture and such a flavorful jam.
I would have sun dried some of the figs like my Cherie tomatoes.

Kate from Scratch said...

Sounds fantastic! I wish I saw more fig recipes. This looks delicious!

Alida said...

Gosh what a delicious recipe. I cannot wait to go to Italy. Figs are ripening now and I will gorge on them. Love the addition of vanilla here. Yum!

Chris said...

Why am I obsessed with the thought of using this as a stuffing or glaze for some thick pork chops? YUM!

That Girl said...

I'm so jealous of your fig tree.

Julie said...

Oh I wish we could get good fresh figs. This jam looks amazing.

love2dine said...

The photo is so lovely! Am sure it's delicious too!

rita cooks italian said...

I am a fig lover! In Italy I eat figs every day in August. I was deilighted when I moved to a house with a garden with 3 fig trees (2 months ago!). Sadly, my trees have produced only 6 figs, not even ripe yet (thanks to this cold, rainy British summer, I guess). I like your recipe, it seems so easy and deliciously sticky! does it also work with 6 unripened figs??

tasteofbeirut said...

I was eyeing our fig trees and it looks like we're going to have more than the 15 pounds to deal with, even after giving most of it away, so your recipe will be tested here with all the extra apples as well! Great idea, thanks!

Lizzy said...

Lucky you with the fig tree! Your jam is just gorgeous...I would have loved some on my morning toast :)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

How fun to have a fig tree right outside! Jam is the perfect solution - perfect for cookies, or cake filling, or just an elegant dollop on toast!

Katerina said...

I would love to try this jam with salmon or meat. I always like the sweet and savory flavors in a dish!

Marina@Picnic at Marina said...

Oh dear, what a taste! That would be great on a crostini with a cup of coffee in the morning...:)

Claudia said...

I am yearning for a fig tree. Minnesota is not kind to them and I am not sure how one would fare wintering in the basement! This is just divine - a summer offering of nourishment and deliciousness. What a photo, Velva! Just want to dip into it.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I can't wait to see fresh figs in the stores here soon! What a delicacy and I'm so jealous of your bountiful fig tree. Last year I made fig jam too when they went on sale - so delicious!

Rambling Tart said...

Absolutely love this, Velva!! The vanilla addition is so perfect. :-)

Just Cake Girl said...

Looks wonderfull :))))

Ashley said...

I'm jealous of your fig bounty!! This looks really tasty :)

Jane said...

I want a fig tree! Sounds super delish! Fig and vanilla sounds so good together!

Jenn Kendall said...

what a beautiful jam, sounds super delicious!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Thank you Velva for the fig jam!! That's A LOT easier to make then the fig newtons that I was hoping to make! Maybe next summer I'll have more figs to pick!! Those birds are selfish though! I don't mind sharing (unlike Dad), but they take one bite and go to the next one, take one bite and go to the next fig. Wish they'd just eat up one whole fig and get a belly full on fewer figs :-}}

Cucina49 said...

I am really envious of your fig tree--this jam looks so flavorful and I wish I had some for my morning toast!

Sandra M. said...

Now that sounds something that i would just eat every single day...I love figs! Great recipe...

Roz said...

You are ROCKIN' in the kitchen Velva with your canning skills! This must be incredible! I have found it so difficult to find fig jam in the market! SC has an initiative to try and introduce more 'exotic' trees including fig trees. I'd be really interested to see how they do in our crazy weather here! KUDOS to you and your culinary expertise in so many ways!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

i can picture me eating this all over my toast, muffins and biscuits in the morning - heck all throughout the day! the flavor combination of the vanilla and fig looks and sounds unbelievable!

grace said...

you're gonna keel over when i tell you that i've never eaten a fresh fig! i've had fig products, though, and your jam sounds lovely!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Velva! I just "bought" fig jam yesterday. I love figs and this is my first time purchasing fig jams. I can't wait to use it and one day I'd love to make my own fig jam!!!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Oh how lucky you are to have a fig tree! I hear that all of the fruit ripens at once. What a high quality problem to have! These jam looks superb!

Thyme (Sarah) said...

Lucky lucky you! I would love to see a fig tree much less have one. Fig jam is my most favorite jam of them all. I have strong memories of growing up in Louisiana and picking the figs out of the jam jars. I thought it was as easy to find as strawberry jam. Then, when I moved far away from Lousiana for 20 years plus, I realized that fig jam is pretty rare in the U.S. Now, back down in the So. (TX), I do come fig jame here ....imported from Spain!!

We Are Not Martha said...

I love that you added vanilla to this. Talk about taking fig jam and making it even better! I'm very jealous about your fig tree :)

Sues

The Duo Dishes said...

Figs grow in trees all over Southern California. It's so nice to have them right at your fingertips like that. You are forced up develop delicious recipes all the time. Love the flavors here!

Cathleen said...

I have never even tried a fig! And you have a tree? Does this mean come christmas, there will be some figgy pudding? (I've always wondered about that song. I have never seen anywhere sell a "figgy pudding..)
This sounds like an awesome jam (even though I don't know what fig tastes like) because with vanilla, how can you go wrong? ;)

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