Autumn time and figs, quinces, apples and pomegranates are the hero’s as the day shortens and the nights grow longer. Our White Genoa fig tree never fails to produce an abundant crop and this year the figs are large and luscious. This simple recipe transforms the figs into a sensual lemony, ginger and figgy syrupy jam that is perfect with toast, ice-cream or yoghurt or served with pancakes, warm tea cake or waffles. Pear shaped, brown, green or purple when ripe, depending upon the variety, pick when they are soft and dropping on the branch. But don’t wait to long as their sugar content increases rapidly and suddenly they will be over ripe, overly sweet and cloying. I hope you enjoy the indulgent flavour and texture of one on my favourite preserves.
Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 45 minutes
Quantity: 8 x 125 ml jars
PreparationSterilise sealable glass jars and lids.
Ingredient list700g fresh ripe figs
700g white sugar
10g crystallised ginger
Juice of 2 medium juicy lemons
- Gently wash the figs and pat dry with a clean dry tea towel or paper towel.
- Cut the figs into quarters. If they are small they can be left whole or cut into halves.
- Finley chop the crystallised ginger
- Place the figs, crystallised ginger and sugar in a preserving pan. Stir gently to mix the ingredients and for the sugar to begin to dissolve.
- Place on a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Bring the mixture quickly to the boil until the jam is thick and reaches setting point.
- Remove from the heat and using a metal spoon remove the surface scum. Allow the jam to cool slightly.
- Use a funnel and ladle to pour into warm dry sterilised screw cap sealable bottles. Fill to approximately 0.5 cm (1/4 inch) from the top of the jar and seal with the screw cap.
- Seal, label and store in a cool dark place in the kitchen or pantry.
- Allow the jam mature for at least 2 weeks before eating
- If using small figs and they have been left whole this will produce a jam with large pieces of cooked figs in a jammy syrup.
- Crystallised ginger will produce a more intense ginger flavour and better consistency than fresh ginger, as it has already been cooked and has a softened jelly-like texture.
- Any impurities in the figs will rise to the surface while the jam is cooking. This is known as the scum and is part of the jam making process
- Stirring the sugar until it is dissolved is an important step as undissolved sugar can burn on the bottom of the preserving pan or give a slightly crystallised effect in the finished jam.
- If the lemons are on the dry side, use another lemon. To maximise the juice extraction place the lemon on a hard surface, place your palm on it and roll the lemon backwards and forwards a couple of times. This ruptures the sac membranes that contains the juice, allowing it to flow more freely.
- Figs and ginger is a great combo, if you love ginger add more.
- Honey can be used and produces a unique rich flavour to the jam. However it doesn’t provide a firm set. Use 25% honey and 75% sugar for a firm set or 50% honey and 50% sugar for a softer jam.