Tipsy Fig Jam

A perfect first post for a blog called "Flour & Finch" is a flour-free recipe. Obviously, I'm kidding, but jams and other preserves are something I want to perfect so it will not be the first time a jam presents itself in a post. 

tipsy fig

Figs: bizarre little fruits that are typically in stores late summer to early fall. I thought I had missed the season for fresh figs and with it my dream of making fig jam was crushed. I walked into Safeway this morning after checking Whole Foods and Savemart and what do I see next to the raspberries? FIGS! I purchased all the Black Mission figs in sight and beamed at my findings. There were only three dozen but that was enough to make a partial batch of this recipe from Epicurious. I made a few modest adjustments in order to make the amount of figs work and the finished product was sweet, figgy, and had warmth which came from the Cognac. The adjusted recipe follows. 

WARNING: when measuring the Cognac be careful not to breathe too deeply. I made this very early in the morning and the smell of the Cognac almost knocked me out. Measure responsibly. 

I look forward to this preserve being a gift for friends and family this Christmas as it is perfect on buttery toast or on a classy cheese plate alongside Brie or other soft cheeses. 

Tipsy Fig
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Tipsy Fig Jam
A great way to use up your fresh figs!
  • 3 dozen (fresh) Black Mission Figs
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 C Cognac
  • 3 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1. Remove stems of figs and cut each fig into eighths.2. Peel one and a half lemons with a vegetable peeler and chop into matchstick size pieces (see photo). Reserve one peeled lemon for later. 3. In a large non reactive bowl, preferably glass or ceramic, mix figs, lemon peel, cognac, sugar, and salt. Let sit for an hour at room temperature and stir occasionally. *if you are planning to process jars then this is a good time to start sterilizing jars*4. After an hour, pour mixture into a large heavy bottom pot or dutch oven and heat at medium high until bubbling. Lower temperature to medium low and continue stirring for about 30 minutes. If you want a less chunky jam, use a potato masher or fork to reduce the large chunks. 5. Add juice from reserved lemon and stir. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes. 6. Take off heat and use a spoon to put jam into jars. Process cans or refrigerate if not planning to process. I was able to fill 4 half pints and 1 quarter pint but this might change depending on how much the mixture reduces.
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I am not an incredibly experienced canner so I am not going to try to explain sterilizing/preserving with a water bath but Ball has great directions. 

I was doing some serious jammin' this weekend (making this fig jam and this one) and it was my first canning and jam experience since I learned how to this past spring while WWOOFing in Homer, Alaska. In Alaska, I learned how to make a rhubarb and wild blueberry jam with a hint of orange blossom. The rhubarbs were fresh from the garden and the wild blueberries were frozen but had been picked the previous summer. It was a great place to learn an incredibly important and useful preserving method. 

tipsy fig

A fun way to spice up your jars for gifting is adding a decorated top! I used construction paper, pens, and washi tape to create a simple "top" to place on top of the sealed lid under the part of the lid that screws on. Make sure you still write on the actual lid what jam it is so that when the paper decoration is discarded the recipient knows what type it is. Also, always write the date you canned! 

Listening to: Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes