Three days ago one of my wife’s co-workers gave her a bag full of fresh figs from his backyard. Yesterday they all became over ripe and I was faced with the dilemma of what to do with five pounds of figs about to rot. Normally we would enjoy a couple figs a day for a week and then use what remained in a dessert or roast pork dish. Instead I decided to make a batch of fig jam.
Two problems arose from this solution. First, I had never canned anything and second, I had to discover a way to skin and dice five pounds of over soft figs. Well the second problem was more finding the four hours it took to cut up the fruit than the actual technical cutting. As for the canning I discovered a method for preserves that worked fantastic and required no extra equipment save the case of preserve jars I had to buy.
Basically I boiled the jars in a pot of water just covering the tops for 10 minutes. Then with tongs extracted the jars and poured the hot jam directly in. Then I had to make sure the rims were wiped clean with a fresh paper towel without touching the inside with my fingers. Finally I dipped the lids in the boiling water and placed them on the top of the jars sealing them tightly with the ring pa rt of the top. This required a hotpad to hold the jar as I quickly learned after burning my fingers on the first jar. It also took a little practice placing the lids without touching the inside with my fingers. I had to re-sterilize a few and re-wipe the rims a couple times. Then I just set aside the jars in a cool corner until each pinged in about a half hour. All 10 sealed perfect and after fully cooling to the touch are now resting in my cupboard. If one had not sealed all I would have had to do was eat it first and store it in the fridge.
Here’s the recipe for the jam. I doubled the amounts due to the large amount of figs I had.
- 2 lbs fresh figs skinned and diced finely
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon broken in half
Boil water sugar and cinnamon till sugar dissovles and creates a simple syrup. Add figs and simmer on low until thick and jam coats back of spoon. Remove cinnamon and pour into sterilized mason jars. Makes roughly five 8 oz jars.