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Fig Jam

Ingredients
  • 4 pounds figs
  • 3 pounds sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a few cloves; (tied in cheesecloth)
Instructions

Wash and stem the figs and cut into quarters. Place in large, preferably wide kettle and cover with sugar. Let stand overnight. Scrub and rinse the orange and lemon. Dice (including rind) into roughly 1/4" pieces, removing pits. Add to kettle along with cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring pot to a fast boil, then lower heat until the mixture boils gently. Let cook from 30 minutes to an hour, until the figs are soft and the syrup somewhat thickened. If it threatens to stick to the bottom of the pot, keep an eye on it and stir frequently. Don't let it get too thick or it will set too hard to spoon out of the jar. It's hard to gauge without some experience-- you'll just have to screw up a few times like I did! The cold plate test can give you a good idea, though. I don't hot-water bath fruit-only jams, but you can if you want to. I sterilize half-pint canning jars, ladle the hot jam into them and seal. Then I turn them upside down for 5 minutes and let cool right-side-up. I've never had one fail to "ping" and seal properly. I *know* this is not an approved method, so no flames please. I don't do it for anything that has less than a 4:3 fruit-to-sugar ratio by weight. If I'm stretched for jars, I do sometimes use non-canning jars, but I sterilize them before filling and keep the filled jars in the fridge once they've cooled. This jam is best if allowed to mellow for about six months in a dark, cool place (I always put the bottling date on the label), but apparently this batch was acceptable after only two weeks, considering the jar I saw at Kay's on Sunday morning was more than half gone!

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