Sweet Jesus, I Wanna JAMmin' Wid You: Drunken Fig Jam

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's ok...I'll let you finish the Bob Marley song in your head...I'll wait for you...

A new "foodie" friend named Lisa passed along her recipe for Drunken Fig Jam. Lisa's the writer of a fabulous food blog called Buen Viaje. It's a Must-Check-Out.

The first word alone has got me converted. Sweet figs infused with heavenly cognac or brandy? Yes please!

Conserving your own fruits (aka "making jam") seems tedius and labor-intensive. I'm not gonna lie - it is. The jam-making part is easy enough, as everything boils together in a large pot for a time. The hard part is all the sterilizing you must do. Yes, it's imperitive to boil the jars and all of that so you get rid of all the nasty bacteria. We're making jam here after all kids, not cheese. So that part in and of itself has scared people away from the canning process. But if you can get past it, it's really worth it. And it's not that hard.

Here's a link to an excellent article about picking, preparing, and canning figs.

DRUNKEN FIG JAM from epicurious

2 lemons

4 pounds ripe fresh figs (preferably black), stemmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 9 cups)

4 cups sugar (I cut this down to 3 cups)

3/4 cup brandy or Cognac

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Using a vegetable peeler, remove peel from lemons (yellow part only) in long strips. Cut peel into matchstick-size strips (about 3 tablespoons). Combine lemon peel, figs, sugar, brandy, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in heavy large deep saucepan; let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Bring fig mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium; continue to boil until jam thickens and is reduced to 6 cups, stirring frequently and occasionally mashing mixture with potato masher to crush large fig pieces, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat.

Ladle mixture into 6 hot clean 1/2-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top of jars. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Cool jars completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year.

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