Fig Jam – two ways

We have a beautiful and very happy Black Mission fig tree in our yard that we planted about five years ago. It has produced fruit since year two, and this year it has produced a bumper crop! The fig has long been a symbol of abundance and blessing. For example, from The Song of Songs, “The fig tree has put forth its green fruit and the vines in blossom waft fragrance.”

Here is a recipe from an old Cooking Light magazine that did justice to these black beauties. The way I’ve posted it is double the original since we have a plethora of fruit. A little further down the post you’ll find the redux version we tried next. We felt that the original had too much sugar, and we wanted a little twist. We’re all in thrall to the redux version, not as sweet, and a little sassy. Enjoy.

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Listen: Try the percussion of John de Kadt from his 2008 album titled Eight.

Sip: If you’re serving the jam with an appetizer, we suggest a lovely summer rosé such as Bandol. There’s a great article on summer rosés from the New York Times, if you’d like to review an assortment. We’re particularly fond of the Bandol. If you’re serving it as dessert, perhaps a little nice bourbon such as Woodford Reserve, or a cup of coffee or tea.

Original Fig Jam Ingredients (doubled, easy to halve):
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
40 medium fresh figs, quartered, about 2 pounds

Fig Jam Redux Ingredients (also doubled and easy to halve):
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle
1/2 teaspoon salt
40 fresh figs, halved and then sliced, about 2 pounds (We found the quartered pieces in the original recipe we’re a bit large.)

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Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until thick and syrupy, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool completely. Yield: 5 cups. Store the jam in clean jars in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Enjoy with crackers, cheese, toast, over ice cream, with short cake, or as a condiment for meat.

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