Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fig and Ginger Jam

The fruit man's fig tree has come to the end of its run, with autumn now well and truly upon us.  Sandra shared the last of the figs with Lee and I, and with mine, I decided to make fig and ginger jam to preserve those glorious figs for the long winter months.  (In Melbourne, it certainly doesn't get as cold as in parts of Europe and North America, but it doesn't really warm up again until November-December.)

My fig and ginger jam was inspired by this recipe on TahiniToo.  However, I didn't use as many figs (as I didn't have as many ;)), I left the skins on, and I upped the fruit:sugar ratio so that I didn't have to use pectin.  However, I did take on board all of their glorious flavours, including the addition of vanilla, cinnamon and of course, fresh grated ginger. The resulting jam was just marvellous - I could eat it by the spoon from the jar.

My recipe is as follows:

900g fresh figs, washed and stalks removed, mashed
600g white sugar
1" knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sterilise some glass jars and their lids by boiling them, or heating them in the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes (my preferred method).

Put all of the jam ingredients into a large, heavy-based saucepan, and bring to the boil over medium heat.  In the meantime, place a saucer in the freezer.  Once the ingredients have come to the boil, reduce the heat and continue simmering the ingredients ("a rolling boil") until they begin to thicken.  Test whether the jam is ready by taking your saucer out of the freezer and dropping a small amount of jam onto it - leave it for around 30 seconds, then run your finger through the jam (being careful not to burn yourself) - if the jam does not run back into the gap made by your finger, then it is ready.  Otherwise, if it is still runny, keep boiling the jam, but be careful not to overboil it or you will get candy.

Once the jam is ready, pour it into the sterilised glass jars (ideally you should fill them almost to the top to eliminate air), then seal.  Allow the jam to cool on the bench in the jars.

Enjoy your jam however you fancy and remind yourself of summer on a cold day.