A homemade fig jam is a delightful treat that appeals to all palates. This flavorful creation is not just a sweet addition to your desserts; it also complements the richness of aged cheeses with finesse.
This delectable preserve is effortlessly conjured with minimal ingredients, making it a perfect enhancement for tarts, cakes, and even a subtle touch to savory dishes, all achieved with minimal effort in the comfort of your home.
In this article we will show you both a recipe that uses fresh figs, to be tried in September, in the season of this fruit, and another that uses dried figs, for other periods of the year.
Now, let’s delve into the art of concocting homemade fig jam with a touch of authenticity and healthiness.
Homemade Fig Jam Recipe: The Classic Version
For the classic variant, which uses fresh figs, gather the following organic ingredients:
- 2 kg of fresh figs
- 2 lemons
- 500 g of brown sugar
Begin the process by tenderly washing the figs, removing their stems, and delicately peeling them with a knife. Cut the figs into quarters and place them in a pot infused with the zesty juice of two lemons. Also also add the grated zest. Allow the mixture to macerate for at least an hour.
While patiently waiting, take a moment to prepare sterilized jars. Remove the lids, rinse them under cold water, and boil them to perfection. To avoid any jostling, consider wrapping them in small kitchen towels.
The sterilized jar, preferably with a screw cap, is crucial for preserving the integrity of your jam. Boil everything for a minimum of 20 minutes, including the lids for 10 minutes. If time is of the essence, a quick stint in the microwave (about 30-40 seconds) will suffice.
Moving on to the cooking phase, transfer the macerated figs to a non-stick pot and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
Pass the mixture through a vegetable strainer to eliminate seeds, then return it to heat for an additional 45 minutes. Stir intermittently, using a skimmer to rid the surface of any foam that may foster bacterial growth.
Caution: Resist the temptation to add pectin, as figs inherently possess this natural thickening agent.
The indication that your fig jam has reached perfection is when it achieves a thick and cohesive consistency. Allow it to cool, stirring in the thin film that forms on the outermost layer.
Carefully pour the jam into the jars, leaving a 2-centimeter gap at the top before sealing them securely.
When it comes to storing this delectable creation, invert the jars in a cool, dark space. Remember, its optimal enjoyment period spans three months at most. Once opened, store it in the refrigerator and relish it within a fortnight.
For a delightful experience, savor your homemade fig jam on toast, croissants, biscuits, or incorporate it into cakes and desserts.
Can dried figs be used instead of fresh ones?
Certainly, dried figs are a viable alternative, bearing in mind their sweeter profile. Adjust the sugar quantity accordingly to suit your taste, and note that the consistency may differ from that achieved with fresh figs.
Homemade Fig Jam Recipe: Using Dried Figs
Follow this modified recipe:
- 500 g of dried figs
- 500 g of granulated sugar
- 1 untreated lemon
- 1 vanilla bean (optional)
- 1 liter of water
Soak the dried figs in water for about 12 hours, then proceed with the classic recipe as explained above. It’s basically the same process. Let’s see in detail.
- Drain the figs and put them in a large pot together with granulated sugar and the juice of one lemon. Mix well and let it rest for at least an hour.
- Add the vanilla bean, halved, and scrape the seeds inside with the tip of a knife.
- Turn on medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Add water and reduce the heat. Continue cooking the jam over low heat for about an hour and a half, until it thickens and reaches a jam-like consistency.
- Remove the vanilla bean and pour the hot jam into sterilized jars.
- Seal the jars tightly with the lids and turn them upside down for a few minutes to create a vacuum. Let them cool completely before storing them in a cool and dry place.
Is there a risk of botulism?
Botulism is a serious concern, but you can mitigate the risk with proper canning techniques. Ensure your jars are clean and sterilized, process them in a water bath, check for a proper seal, and adhere to recommended timeframes for storage and consumption.
When meticulously preparing and storing homemade fig jam, the likelihood of botulism is significantly minimized.
Here are essential recommendations to mitigate this risk:
- Utilize fresh and impeccably clean ingredients during the jam-making process.
- Prior to usage, sterilize both jars and lids. This can be achieved by boiling them in water for approximately 10 minutes or by subjecting them to an oven at 120°C for around 20 minutes.
- Opt for jars equipped with airtight lids, ensuring they exhibit no signs of cracks or dents.
- Whether stored in the refrigerator or a cool, dry location shielded from direct sunlight, maintain an environment conducive to preserving the quality of the fig jam.
- Regularly inspect the jam for any indications of mold or spoilage. If any irregularities are observed, promptly discard the jam.
By following these guidelines, you can savor your homemade fig jam safely and with absolute delight.
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