Friday, October 20, 2017

Fig Jam, Infused with Cinnamon & Vanilla

A burst of bright pink bougainvillea is a stunning showstopper on this otherwise
low key street, in the village of Lefkes, on the island of Paros, Greece.

Hello everyone, Happy Fall!
It's been a while since my last post 
- it was an extra busy summer.
For those of you who are still here, 
thanks for sticking around; I appreciate it!

After a refreshing swim, a golden sunset saturates the sky and illuminates the sea at Agios Prokopios, on the island of Naxos. This was taken waiting at the bus stop for our ride back to Chora.

Soon after Liberty returned from Norway, we set out 
for the islands of Naxos and Paros, which were idyllic
in every way. If you follow me on Instagram, you've
already seen the charming beauty of these places.

But, today's post is about jam, fig jam, to be precise. If
you remember, in my last post, we had a wonderful
harvest of this fruit, and so I decided to try my hand
at cooking, sterilizing and canning the sweet stuff, as
a surprise welcome home gift for Libby, who loves it!

I admit, I was somewhat nervous about the sterilization
 and canning process - boiling the glass jars, then heating 
them in the oven - yikes! But now, after having experienced 
these two stages in practice, I'm more confident.


Rich and jewel toned, this recipe for fig jam, infused with vanilla essence and aromatic cinnamon, is a treat for the taste buds. Its orange sapphire glow is pure eye candy, while its sweet and spicy scent is irresistibly appetizing. This fig jam is so versatile; its unique flavour complements both sweet and savoury dishes. I especially like to spread it on two slices of sourdough bread that are then topped with a slice of low fat Gouda and shavings of smoked, honey glazed ham. 
Two minutes in the panini press and presto!
 - you have the perfect comfort food sandwich! 

Fig Jam

2 lbs figs, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup water
pinch of salt
 1 tsp. vanilla essence
 1 cinnamon stick 


Peel the figs into a large saucepan, and add the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, continuing to stir occasionally for about an hour, or until the liquid is thick and sticky and drops heavily from the ladle. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick.
Sterilization and Canning: 
NOTE: Start sterilizing jars and lids when your jam is about 20 minutes away
 from being ready, since the jam needs to be hot when placed in the hot jars. 

After you've checked that there are no chips or dents in your  jars and lids, wash them in hot, soapy water, rinsing well. Turn upside down on a clean tea towel that has been placed in a baking pan. Place jars and lids in a pan of very hot water. Gently boil them for 20 minutes. Do not boil on high, as they may bang into each other and break! 


Remove with tongs and place upside down on clean tea towel lining a baking pan. 

Place pan with jars, lids and tea towel in oven, set to 212ºF and heat for 15 minutes. Don't worry; the tea towel won't burn. Immediately after removing the jars and lids from the oven, fill with hot jam, leaving about 1/8 of an inch of space from the top. Be careful when pouring jam into jars. If any gets on the rims, this could cause bacteria, as well as not allowing the lids from sealing properly. Always fill hot jars with hot ingredients and cold jars with cold ingredients, since filling a hot jar with a cold ingredient may cause it to shatter. Close tightly, turn upside down and bring to room temperature. Turn right side up, and store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight for up to one year.  Once opened, keep in the fridge for up to one month.

 Next summer, when figs are in season once again
and readily available, please give this recipe a try.
It really is scrumptious!

Thanks for visiting!

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