10/18/12

Sweet + Savory Fig Jam

People often ask me what it was like to grow up in Hawaii.

Grilled Cheese with Fig Jam

What can I say? Warm beaches, tropical fruit stands, and frolicking in the sun. Everyday.

Fig Jam

But I missed out on things, too. Like, shopping for winter coats. Taking family road trips to the Grand Canyon. Learning to ski on snow days.

And… canning.

Fig Jam

Now that I live in warm-beach-less-tropical-fruit-less-generally-sun-less Oregon, I’m making up for lost time.I still haven’t gone on a road trip or learned to ski, but I’ve learned to can, gosh darn it.

I like knowing what’s in my food, and I also enjoy the satisfaction of doing something that gives you payback all year long. Perhaps it’s a control thing. Aaanyway, I make a variety of different jams, butters and pickles over the course of the year.

Sam can make fun of me, but the only complaint I’ve ever heard from him is that I didn’t make enough pickles. 

Fig Jam

In years past, I didn’t have real canning equipment. So I’d have to freeze or refrigerate the jams. However, my in-laws gave me a gift certificate to Sur La Table for my birthday this year, and I practically sprinted to the store to buy a canning set.

Fig Jam

Halleluiah for in-laws! Yup, I said it.

Fig Jam

My first attempt at “real” canning [via the boiling water method] was the Fig Jam recipe that I’ve been eyeing for months in a beautiful canning book called Put em Up. I was pretty impressed with the results. We’ve used the fig jam on just about anything you can imagine  But my favorite combo? Grilled cheese with turkey and fig jam. 

Fig Jam

Has anyone else used a recipe from Put em Up? I’d love to know how it turned out. I’m ready for my next canning extravaganza.

Sweet + Savory Fig Jam

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Ingredients
2 pounds figs, stemmed and quartered
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup bottled lemon juice

Instructions
Bring the figs and water to a boil in a large nonreactive pot. Reduce the heat and summer for 5 minutes to soften the fruit. Crush using a potato masher.
Add the sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and summer, stirring frequently, until thick and jammy, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes, stirring to release air bubbles.
Refrigeration method: Ladle into jars. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Canning method: Ladle into jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Release trapped air by stirring mixture with a plastic knife. Center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

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