… la delizia per eccellenza. Figs are an ancient fruit, first appearing in the earliest of historic accounts. They are the symbol of abundance and fertility, and they were even used as a sweetener before the advent of refined sugars.
Figs are rich in calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and high in fiber.
They are one of the most delicious and versatile fruits found both in savory (for example with Prosciutto di Parma) and sweet recipes. In summer I have a ritual of making confettura di fichi, fig jam, a versatile ingredient for sweets and desserts, a filling for a brioche (breakfast pastry) or a condiment for cheese (it is delicious with Pecorino). The whole point of making jam is so that you can then use it to make something else … that is even more delicious!
CONFETTURA DI FICHI (FIG JAM)
Preparation time: 50 minutes Yield: about 450 g (1 pound) jam
1 kg (about 2 ½ lbs) fresh figs
300 g (1 ½ cup) granulated sugar
Juice of one lemon
- Wash the figs in plain cold water
- Cut off the stems, peel and dice the figs
- In a large saucepan, combine the diced figs, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Cover and simmer over low heat for 40-45 min, stirring frequently. Remove the cover and continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens. When the mixture gets quite thick, begin to stir constantly to keep from scorching. This recipe makes 640 g (23 oz) of jam.
Good jam should cook until the temperature reaches 220-222°F/104-105°C on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, use this test: Place a small amount of jam on a spoon and pour back sideways into the pan. At first it will be liquid, then later two separate drops will form on the spoon. The jam is ready to be removed from the heat when it falls off the spoon as a single drop. You can preserve your jam using your preferred canning recipe refer to my post on strawberry jam for my canning method. -Paola