Late summer and autumn sees the fresh figs ripening fast, in fact, faster than one can eat them all. So making jam is a great way to use up the glut of figs and to keep enjoying them when the season is over. It is also a lovely way to share your bounty with family and friends when figs are no longer available.
Joe has shared his lastest recipe for fig and cinnamon jam. The sweetness of the ripe figs marries well with the cinnamon and is balanced by the lemon and it makes a delicious jam that can be used with scones or ton toast or for baking in pastries.
Figs are naturally low in pectin so it is important to use lemon juice and the rind to help the fig jam to set.
Jam making is not hard but it is easier if all the fruit and equipment has been assembled and ready. Sugar syrup boiling at these temperatures is dangerous so take care when stirring and using heat proof gloves is essential to prevent burns. A large deep jam pot will also contain spatters.
The use of a candy thermometer takes the guesswork out but even if you don’t have one, timing and boiling hard at the end will get the desired results. Testing the jam on a saucer that has been in the freezer will give you the best indication of whether the setting point has been achieved.
The beauty of a homemade jam is the texture and spreadability of a jam that has plenty of fruit and doesn’t rely on gelling agent for setting.
If you have fig tree this is one way of making use of the bounty.
Thank you Joe for providing us with the step by step images as well as your recipe for us
Joe’s Fig and Cinnamon Jam
- Jam jars and lids
- stainless steel ladle
- Stainless steel tongs
- Large heavy based stainless steel pot or Maslin Jam Pan
- Tall pot for sterilising lids, ladle and tongs
- Wooden spatula
- Candy thermometer
- Heat protective gloves
- 1.5 Kg fresh figs
- 500 g of jam setting sugar
- 250g white sugar
- Juice of 1.5 lemons and the rind thinly sliced with pith removed and sliced into pieces
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon or 2 cinnamon quills
- Wash jam jars in hot soapy water, rinsing them well and put them on an oven tray.
- Put a saucer in the freezer to use to test if the jam has reached setting point
- Place the jar lids and stainless steel tongs into a small pan of water and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and leave them to simmer on the lowest heat
- Wash and dry the figs with kitchen paper
- Cut the stems off and quarter the figs
- Place them in a stainless steel pan that has a heavy base
- Add the lemon juice, rind and cinnamon
- Cook on a low heat for 60 minutes stirring regularly with a flat wooden spatula to make sure that the mixture does not catch.
- When the figs have been cooking for 45 minutes put the sugar onto a baking tray and place into the oven, setting it at 120ºC for 10 to 15 minutes
- When the figs appear well cooked, mash them with a potato masher
- Remover the sugar from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 140ºC
- Place the clean jam jars on a baking tray and into a cold oven and set at 140º C. They should be completely dry by the time the jam is ready.
- While stirring, pour the warmed sugar into the cooked figs and stir well until it dissolves
- Turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil
- Use heat protective gloves to protect your hands from spatter burns as the liquid is very hot
- Carefully clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan with the end dipped into the boiling jam mixture and cook until it reaches 105º C, stirring it
- When this temperature has been reached, boil vigorously for a further 15 minutes, stirring the mixture constantly to prevent sticking or burning
- Then test the jam to see if it has reached the setting point by dropping a small amount of the jam onto the chilled saucer for a minute. Push the jam with your finger. If it wrinkles and doesn’t run, it has reached its setting point.
- You can now remove the lemon rind or leave it in as you choose
- Carefully ladle the jam into the hot, sterilised jars leaving a space between the lid and the jam and then seal.
- Handle the lids with sterilised tongs and never let your hands touch the inside of the lids. Seal tightly. Set aside to cool. You will hear the lids pop as a vacuume forms as the jars cool
- The jam will keep at room temperature for a year. When opened store the jam in the fridge
- Enjoy your jam on a slice of toast or a fresh baked scone with a good cup of coffee or your favourite tea
- This quantity of figs will make 4 x 500g jars of jam