This week we're sharing a family recipe for fig jam as shared by our Venice team member Opal Juneau, whose memories of her grandmother's fig jam (a staple in the pantry and on the breakfast table) is a repeat taste of home.
Directions: Cut the tips off the figs. Soak the figs in an ice chest of cold water with baking soda about an hour. This will clear the figs of their sticky fig milk. Drain and put figs in a shallow pan. Zest and juice the two lemons and add to figs. Add 2 cups of sugar and gently fold in. Let the fig/sugar/lemon mixture macerate overnight.
The next day, mix the water and 4 cups sugar to make syrup. Cook over medium to high heat. When the mixture starts to boil, add the figs (making sure to scrape all the juice into the pot.)
Let it come to a rolling boil; then let the mixture boil hard for a few minutes. Reduce to a very low heat and cook for ~ 2 hours, stirring often to prevent sticking.
To test if the consistency is correct, use the spoon test method: Place the spoon back in the freezer for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove it and tilt the spoon vertically to see how quickly the jam, jelly or marmalade runs. If it runs slowly, and if it has thickened to a jammy consistency, it is done.
Depending on the water content in your figs, it may take up to 4 or 5 hours. Pour the fig mixture into prepared canning jars. Enjoy on toast, with ice cream or with your favorite cheese.