Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh Bring Me Some Figgy....Jam?

I recently enthused at some length over the fact that I was finally able to procure a fig tree sapling for my yard, and was even more ecstatic because it came laden with ripe figs, just ready for the plucking.

If you have not been lucky enough to have fresh figs at your disposal, there is one crucial aspect to having your own tree. Fresh figs....don’t stay fresh for long. Sometimes not long at all. Sometimes you don’t even know they are ripe and they’ve gone bad.

Fortunately for me, my tree is small. I can only imagine what I will do in the years to come if this sucker turns into the fifteen foot monster that it has the potential to grow into. As it is, I was scrambling for ideas when I realized that I was about to have more than a pound of fresh figs ripe all at once. I love eating them straight from the tree, but, glutton that I am, even I can’t eat eight of them in one sitting.

Wasn’t I pleasantly surprised when Ginny came up with a wonderful little recipe for Fig & Sesame Jam over on Epicurious. I didn’t have enough figs to make the full recipe, so I halved the ingredients list and made a “trial” batch. After cooking the figs down and then mashing them with a potato masher (at Ginny’s urging), and then discarding the tougher skins that refused to part with the potato masher, I ended up with about a cup of jam, maybe less.

Fig & Sesame Jam
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 3/4 cup water
• 2 lb firm-ripe fresh figs, trimmed and quartered
• 2 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh lemon zest
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted

Simmer sugar and water in a large heavy saucepan, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Gently stir in figs, zest, and lemon juice and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy, 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Gently stir in sesame seeds.

However, now that I know how good this stuff is....as much as it will pain me to do so....if there aren’t enough figs on my tree the next time I’m ready for this, I may have to resort to buying them in the store.

Its that good.

And Ginny is going to find out for herself this weekend when I pack everything up and head out to Iowa for a visit.

So, let me just say this. Next time you find yourself at the store, drooling over a package of fresh figs. But you can’t quite bring yourself to buy them because you don’t know how you will use them up before they start getting mushy..... do THIS. You won’t regret it.

I may be a bit out of touch over the next week with the upcoming trip (yeah yeah, I know, I’ve ALREADY been a bit out of touch! Bear with me – I’m working on a new project that I hope to announce very soon!) but when I get back, I hope to have some fun new posts worked up for your viewing pleasure.

Until then....get “figgy” with it!


Luigi said...

Lucky you, wish I had a fig tree! I believe our climate here, would just be a little to cool though :( So many ways to enjoy figs, this looks one of the best!

Kim said...

I can tell that you are really loving your fig tree! I've always wanted to try fig jam. I bet it's delicious. Have fun on your trip!

Krista said...

What a wonderful idea. I'd love to try some of this fig jam. I guess I'll just have to find some figs...

Have a wonderful trip. Can't wait to hear what you're up to next. : )

Joanne said...

Oh I can certainly eat eight in one sitting. WIthout a problem.

This jam definitely looks worth making though! I'm so excited for you and your tree!

Alwayzbakin said...

The jam looks yummy! I wish I was brave enough to plant something we could actually eat. I'm lucky I can keep the unedible plants from dying!