I might as well call this California Fig Jam – both the figs and I are from and currently residing in CA. I’m very proud to say that this is the first thing I’ve preserved without a recipe (gasp!). Some may find that frightening, but fear not. I know the key ingredients and important steps for successful, safe canning. Let this jam serve as evidence!
This was not in the plan for today. I was driven to make it by the impending deadline to send out some jars for a jam exchange that Steph put together. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew the date was coming up. I fretted about my meager preserving efforts this summer but continued to procrastinate. Finally, I checked the due date this morning. September 10th! I had to mail my jams by September 10th! That’s day after tomorrow! Whew, at least I realized that in time and happened to have a recently purchased more figs than a girl and her fig-hating husband can eat.
So, with this very basic, spontaneous canning outline from Food In Jars, I started chopping. My figs were perfectly, perfectly ripe. The timing could not have been better. I would have liked to use honey in this recipe but I don’t have any. I used brown sugar instead, hoping for the deep, caramelized sweetness it provides. A splash of lemon juice was the only other thing I needed to create this simple spread.
On fresh-baked bread with coconut butter (or off side of the pan when my jars were filled), this stuff is amazing. For my taste, it turned out a little on the sweet side. I erred on the side of caution with the sugar and took into account that most people like things sweeter than I do.
Simple Fig Jam
Approximately 3 cups chopped fresh figs
1 cup packed brown sugar
juice from 1 lemon
Combine ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan or large skillet and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for about half an hour, or until the mixture thickens and does not immediately flow back together then you scrape a spatula across the bottom of the pan (here’s a great demonstration of this)
When the jam is ready, process it using your preferred method. You can read all about canning from this USDA source.
Don’t forget to heat your pot of water for processing the jars! I forgot that today but fortunately my pressure cooked boils water super fast!
As you may have gathered, I also made bread today. This was not just any bread, it was my first loaf from the Master Recipe in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I bought the book a couple months ago when I saw it on sale a book store. I had been wanting a copy ever since it came out. I read and heard so many raves about Jeff Hertzberg, Zoe Francois and Mark Luinenburg’s first book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Some friends of mine took to baking their own bread all the time after receiving this book as a wedding present. I tried their bread. It was very, very good.
Francois and Luinenburg’s version, concentrating on healthful bread recipes, promises to be a much-used cookbook in my kitchen now that I’ve tried the first recipe. The dough was easy to mix and their whole bread making process made sense to me. The loaf I made today really did come together very quickly. I got it ready to put in the oven while my jam cooked and had fresh bread by lunch time! The flavor is awesome and I think I’m finally getting a hold of the oven-steaming crust procedure.
Bread, I love you, the making and the eating too. (Did I just write a poem about bread! Ha!)