Friday, July 13, 2012

Fig Jam

Last week, Brent's mom called and said that there were many figs on the tree and we were welcome to come get them.  I picked for about an hour and a half.  There were plenty more figs that would be ready in a couple of days and there were many completely green figs as well.  This is what we came home with.

Yes, I think it is safe to say this is a good year for figs!  Since figs don't last very long, I got busy making fig jam.  Brent's mom gave me Nanny's instructions a couple of years ago.  It includes soaking the figs in brine prior to making the preserves.  I think this is to soften the skins, but these figs are so small and tender that the skins break down easily, so I just skipped that step, and it worked out just fine. 

Then you cook 9 cups of chopped figs with 3 cups of sugar and a little less than 1/2 cup (half of 3/4 to be exact) of water.

And cook it, and cook it, and cook it.  I use a potato masher when everything is getting really soft to break the skins down a little more.  I like the chunks in my jam to be fairly small.   (Nanny's instructions did not inclde the next part, but I read that you need it to make the jam acidic enough to store safely.) Then when everything has thickened up nicely, you add 1/8 cup lemon juice, cook for an additional minute., then ladle into hot jars and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.  I made two made 4.5 pints and one made 5.5 pints...and we still had figs left for fresh eating and for a drying attempt. 
Finished jam

I know you aren't supposed to double jam batches because of problems with inconsistent jelling, but the recipe in my canning book calls for 6 cups of sugar with the figs, so I think that it would have been fine to make both of these batches at the same time.