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Fig jam with triple creme cheese

 

Several years ago we left Hood River for the Portland Metro area, giving up a 2/3 acre edible landscape for a much smaller urban lot (which we are now turning into an edible landscape).  While the smaller lot has benefits, like actually having weekends free from non-stop gardening, there are times when I miss my former garden – now is one of those times.  One of our first additions to our home in Hood River was a fig tree, which not only thrived but produced the most amazing figs in vast quantities.  When we relocated we planted another fig tree – unfortunately we had a snowpocalypse in Portland that following winter and fig tree.2 did not survive.  We were sad and have not had the heart to try fig tree.3. 

Fresh figs

 

I appreciate figs a lot more now that I have to fight with the rest of the New Season’s shoppers to grab them when they are in the store.  I happened to luck out this Friday and picked up the last remaining bins of figs in order to make a batch of fig jam. 

Now fig jam, as strange as it sounds, is actually a great multi-tasker.  It can serve as a pizza base, dress up meats, and is just heaven when paired with triple creme cheese.  If you are so inclined you can make your own cookies with it as well (shhh don’t tell Nabisco). 

 

This recipe is pretty simple without much chopping and no peeling.  One word of warning – as I learned with the cherry port sauce experience – it is good to check gel set when adding alcohol to jam recipes.  

 

Recipe: 

Makes about 7 1/2 pints 

2 dozen figs 

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 

Packet of powdered pectin (plus extra if necessary see recipe below) 

1/4 cup water 

1/4 cup port 

7 cups sugar 

Slice figs into rounds, place in small bowl and add hot water.  Soak for 15 minutes to soften skins.  Mix together pectin and 1/4 cup of the sugar.  Drain figs and combine with pectin mixture, lemon juice, water, and port in non-reactive pot.  Bring to rolling boil over med-heat stirring frequently.  Add remaining sugar and return to rolling boil – boil for one minute, turn off heat and test for gel set.*  Once finished let set for 5 minutes and ladle into clean jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. 

*I keep a set of metal spoons in the freezer.  To test gel set use an icy spoon to remove 1/2 spoon’s worth of jam.  Let cool for a few minutes and tip the spoon – jam should have an appropriate gel consistency, if not add a little more pectin and re-boil for additional minute and re-test.  For this recipe – I needed an additional 1/4 pouch of pectin and one re-boil – your results may differ.

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