For the first time in my adult life I am living in a home with a fruit tree. It is a fig tree. Growing up in rural Colorado we had apple trees and cheery trees and eating the delicious fruit right off the tree was an unforgettable part of the summer. I did not remember the hassles of fruit trees that we are learning about now, such as all the fruit that falls to the ground and gets squashed underfoot. We have been having this particular problem with the fig tree so I decided to try and make something of the figs. I called our entomologist landlord to ask what type of figs these are and apparently they are California brown figs, they are light pink inside and just slightly sweet, good for preserves, because my kids are picky about eating them raw.
To make the preserves I loosely followed this recipe (http://flouronmyface.com/homemade-fig-preserves/) from the Flour on My Face Blog as a rough guide, with a few adaptations. My main compliant with preserves is the large quantities of sugar. The recipe called for 7 cups of sugar and in my low sugar family this seemed overwhelming and I didn’t have 7 cups on hand, so I reduced both the figs and the sugar (by more than half). I used lime and lime zest in smaller quantities and I used low-sugar pectin. I have never used pectin before and the recipe called for “a packet” so I just added a couple of tablespoons. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but the results were very good. We now have luscious fig preserves that we can spoon on ice cream or yogurt or eat with toast for breakfast. The best part about these preserves is the price. Since the figs grow in our yard the only real cost to this jam is the very cheap sugar and the time you spend cooking!
- 4 cups chopped figs
- 2.5 cups sugar
- 1/2 lime, put in both juice and the zest
- 2.5 tbsp bell less sugar pectin
- 3 tbsp water
Combine the figs and sugar in a pot and let them macerate together until the mixture is soupy and not too thick, about 20 mins. Add the other ingredients except the pectin and bring to a boil, boil for 15 minutes. Stir in the pectin and bring back to a boil. Remove from the heat and let sit for 30 minutes to let the jam set. Either can the preserves at this point in jars and boiling water bath or scoop it into a glass jar and let cool before refrigerating. If you want to can the jam, boil the jars and the lids while the preserves are cooking, using canning tongs to lift the hot jars out of the water. Once the preserves have set, fill the jars, place the lids on and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Then let the jars cool on the counter so that they seal properly.
The preserves should last at least a week in the refrigerator or a year if you can them. I got three 5 oz jars out of this recipe.