With figs it's always a bit all or nothing. Suddenly the season is there, and you find them in abundance. In the store or in your garden. But once the season is over you have to wait another year for fresh figs. And then the challenge is “what do you do with that sudden abundance”. Jam is always a good option. So this year we made fresh fig jam with the ones we could not use immediately.
How to make fresh fig jam
A good way to preserve figs is to make jam from them. Moreover, it is very easy too. So no reason not to make jam out of them. And so you can enjoy your fresh figs for months to come.
We remove the skin from the red onion and then halve it. Then we cut the onion into fine pieces.
We also remove the peel from the ginger root. It is bitter, and we don't want that in our jam. We then cut the remaining yellow ginger root into fine pieces.
And then there are the figs. We cut off the tops. Then we cut the figs into slices of about half to one centimeter. We keep them together and then cut them in the other direction into equal-sized slices. The result is sticks of soft figs.
Place the onion and ginger root in a pot. Then supplement it with the cut figs. Now we sprinkle everything with the sugar, lemon juice and port. Alternatively, you can also use cognac or brandy. Or leave out the alcohol if you don't like that. Finally, we also add some star anise to create extra aroma.
Now mix everything together well and let it rest for about ten minutes.
Cooking the fresh fig jam
Now turn the heat to medium-high and let the mixture come to a gentle boil. The sugar will melt and the mixture will have a syrup-like consistency with pieces of fig. Mix everything well and let it simmer for a few minutes.
But now we come to the hardest part of the whole operation. We have to find the star anise and fish it out of the syrup. We don't want to mix them. So remember how many pieces of star anise you added, to make sure you have all of them.
Once the star anise has been removed, we can confidently put the immersion blender into the deep red slurry. Mix until all the figs are finely ground. Our warm jam is now a thick, slushy mass. Place them back on the heat to bring them to the boil again for a minute or so. Important: put the lid on the jar. Otherwise, the cooking bubbles will launch the jam into your kitchen. This is what I experienced for the first time I made fresh fig jam…
Now we are ready to transfer the warm jam into jars. Then let it cool down and set. You now have a delicious deep red fresh fig jam that everyone will love.
Figs are one of the oldest fruits we know. Wild figs have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. And about 11,000 years ago they were already cultivated in the Jordan Valley, north of modern-day Jericho. It was no coincidence that Adam and Eve carried a fig leaf. There are no fewer than 750 different types of figs.
But they are so-called false fruits. Basically they are inverted flowers. They consist not only of pulp and seeds, but also of the base of the flower and the flower itself. In fact it are the seeds inside the fig that are the real fruit. Other well-known pseudo fruits are the strawberry, the rose hip and yes, the beech nut. You can also eat figs completely. The peel, seeds and flesh are all edible.
Figs are very sweet and aromatic, and therefore very tasty. It will not surprise you that they are very healthy. So they certainly fit into a diet where you want to lose weight. They contain few calories, but many vitamins and minerals. But be careful, excess is harmful. They also contain a lot of fructose. But two figs a day will not harm, and will make your diet especially tasty.
Read more about figs in the following articles:
- Fig (Wikipedia).
- What are figs, and are they a fruit? (The pioneer women).
- Figs: nutrition, benefits and downsides (Healthline).
- What is a fig? Plus how to eat figs (Eating well).
Late summer and early autumn are thé season to buy or harvest figs. Discover more surprising.fig recipes in the following articles:
- Fresh fig carpaccio.
- Lukewarm chicory salad with fresh figs.
- Savory potato waffles with figs and plum compote.
If you speak Dutch, you can find the Dutch version of this recipe on gerechtenweb.blog.