When figs are in season, I try and find as many uses for them as I can, and here in Umbria we are lucky enough to have an immense wild fig tree growing in the field behind our property. One of my favorite combinations is fig jam or paste with aged cheese so I made a batch of spiced fig jam so we can enjoy it with wedges of aged Pecorino cheese after dinner. This jam would also be great for a crostata or cookie filling. The spices I added are not too strong, but seem to simply enhance the fig flavor. You can use either black or green figs, and although I usually prefer black ones, having a huge tree full of free green figs has convinced me I love them too! I used red wine in this recipe which helps to enhance the flavor and give the jam a little depth, but feel free to use water instead if you prefer.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 2 Quarts Chopped Fresh Figs
- 6 Cups Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Red Wine
- Juice From 1/2 Lemon
- 3 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 Tablespoon Whole Cloves
- Tie the cinnamon sticks and cloves in a square of cheesecloth.
- Combine the figs, sugar, and wine in a large, heavy sauce pan.
- Drop in the bag of spices and bring the mixture slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Cook over low heat until the mixture has become very thick, about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
- You can if you wish use a stick immersion blender to blend in any of the fig skins that haven't broken down.
- Add lemon juice, remove the spice bag and cook 1 minute longer.
- Pour the hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" head space.
- Adjust caps, and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.