Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bring out the figgy... jam

This is how I spent last tuesday night. :)
Homemade fig jam
If it weren't for the fact that I now own a fig tree, I probably would've never thought to can figs. But the fig tree we have in the backyard has been producing lots and lots of fruit and it seemed such a pity to waste it and watch hundreds of figs rot. It's funny - when you own a fig tree, you learn pretty quickly which of your friends love figs! :) Even still, we couldn't give the whole fruit away fast enough so on the suggestion of a friend I decided to look into making fig jam.
Having never made or even eaten it before, I experimented with a few different recipes. And by experiment, I mean I took nerdy notes and saved samples to taste test against each other. 8) But since most recipes call to leave the skins on and chop them, they all seemed to result in a very lumpy jam. I wondered if lumpy jam was normal or if I was making it wrong, so I consulted a few friends to see what most people expect to see in a fig jam. In the meantime, I also experimented with making the jam with peeled figs. But cooking it without the skins really effected the taste - made it way sweeter. My favorite of the jam experiments was actually cooked with skins, then manually remove the skins after cooking/before processing. But that was pretty labor intensive, so I was looking for something simpler. And if most people expected lumpy jam anyway, it seemed unnecessary.
The results from my poll came back conclusive - most of my friends did expect lumpy jam. So I decided to keep the skins in after all. But also, just because I'm stubborn, I took an immersion blender to it before I processed it. :0) That smoothed it up nicely too.
Hope you are all having a great weekend. :)

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