Why make jam out of figs? Well, first off - it's tasty but, it also has such a multitude of uses. One being that if it needs just a little more thickening - you can thicken upon opening and use as a "fig newton" filling. My husband loves swirling some into his hot oatmeal with cinnamon. You can even spoon over cottage cheese with some pear for a tasty treat. Any way you use it - even if just as a spread on toast or over cheeses for a dinner party appetizer, it's sure to please! I used Brown Turkey Figs for this recipe because I hadn't done my full research. I didn't know that Black Mission Figs are the sweetest and would provide the most flavorful jam but, this jam I made - it still great - the figs have a delicious, subtle flavor of peach and surrounded with star anise and ginger flavors, it shines. I use the entire Fig in this jam (only removing the stem section.) ~Enjoy! Diane
Spiced Fig Jam
5 lbs fresh, ripe Figs, (2 Quarts chopped)
3/4 cup water
6 cups White Granulated Sugar, divided *I used some honey in place of sugar
1 box powdered pectin, sure-jel (pink box)
6 Star Anise *you can use 3-4 cinnamon sticks if preferred, instead.
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated *more or less, as preferred
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
Clean Figs, cut off stems, and cut in half, place into large pot. Warm pot and let figs start to release their juices, bring pot up to medium-high heat and add water with white sugar. Stir and let sugar dissolve, about 10 minutes. Add in star anise (I place my anise in a spice ball/bag for easy removal later) and ginger and let the pot simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often, this lets the star anise steep and the figs cook down a bit. Taste your mixture at this point and make any spice or sugar 'taste adjustments'. Once to your liking, remove spice ball with anise and set aside, remove pot from heat and use an immersion blender to break down any remaining large pieces of fig. Once all large chunks are broken down, return pot to heat and add back in the spice ball with anise to continue flavoring the jam. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and pectin together in a bowl, and slowly mix into jam in pot while raising the heat on the stove to High. You want to bring the mixture up to at least 210 on a candy thermometer and let boil hard for at least one minute (a boil where the bubbles do not stop when stirring.) Remove pot from heat and ladle hot jam into prepared, sterile jars. Water-bath Can for shelf stability. You can refrigerate for immediate use or freeze for use later.
Waterbath 1/4" head-space, 5 minutes or according to your altitude: Instructions from NCHFP
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
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