Autumn is not autumn without a good fig jam 🙂
This is probably my favorite jam (I often make Crostata with it!), and since always at home we had fig jam, made by my grandmother with our own figs.
We still get some jam from my grandmother when I go back home, but since I’m abroad we have to do it by ourselves too 🙂
Yesterday a man we know brought us a lot of very good figs from his garden (more than 5 kg), and the answer about what to do was easy: jam! 🙂
There are many opinions about how to do jams, the most safe recipes (following the Health Ministry guidelines) say to use a sugar-fruit rate of about 1:1, in that way you can be sure that it can last very long time with no problems.
On the opposite side there are many websites/blogs where you can find recipes with only 200/250 g of sugar for each kilo of fruit.
I think that 1:1 makes the jams too sweet, and low sugar recipes make the jam usually too much liquid and unpleasant to my taste, and you have to eat them very fast, usually they suggest in 2/3 months (it can be ok if you make just a little bit of jam, 1 kilo for example, but if you make a lot of jam it’s not a good option).
Then you have also to consider that some fruits have already a higher sugar content than other fruits (figs are very sweet), it depends also on how much ripe are the fruits you are going to use. And some fruits contain more natural pectin than others (figs contain a good amount of it).
In this specific case I use an intermediate value of sugar (450 g, but for less sweet fruits I go up to 500/600 g), and I don’t cook the fruit for long time (just 30/35 minutes or so), in this way you will keep a more nice color and a more fresh aroma 🙂 And I split the process in 2 days, leaving the fruit to macerate during the night, this step helps the natural pectin “to do its job”.
For this recipe I used 4 kg of figs (the weight has to be measured when they are already cleaned), 1,8 kg of sugar and the juice of 3 big lemons, and I obtained about 4,7 Kg of jam, about the 80% of the total weight at the beginning. This will help you to count about how many jars you will need.
- 1 kg of ripe figs (already cleaned)
- 450 g sugar
- the juice of 1 lemon
- First of all wash the figs and then clean them: cut the upper part and remove the possible rotten/too much ripe parts, and the possible insects too 🙂 some people also peel them, but I don’t: the pectin is contained in the peel, and in the end I’m gonna use a blender. Then cut them in 6/8 pieces.
- Then take a high and large pot with a thick bottom, add the fruit, the sugar and the lemon juice, and start to cook it at high flame. When it starts to do some bubbles (10/15 minutes about, or maybe less if you don’t use much fruit) stop it, let it cool down, cover it hermetically with a plastic wrap and let it rest for the whole night (10/12 hours).
- The next morning you have to do the sterilization of the jars. You can choose to do it in a dishwasher, or you can boil them in hot water for at least 20 minutes. Do this process while you are cooking the fruit, the jars must be still warm when you fill them with the hot jam.
- Take the pot with your fruit and start boiling another time, also now at high flame. Keep it mixed, so you will not risk to attach the jam on the bottom.
- While it’s cooking remove the foam that will appear on the surface, use a skimmer to do it.
- How long has to cook the fruit? It depends on how many kilos of fruit you are cooking, on the fruit and on the pot (a larger surface will help the liquids to evaporate faster), but the exact answer is when the jam reaches the temperature of 105/106 °C. At this temperature the jam has the perfect consistency/texture we are looking for. In this case it took about 30/35 minutes. When it’s almost ready take an immersion blender and mix all the peels (or if you like it, you can leave some bigger pieces inside).
- Of course, you need a thermometer to measure the exact temperature. Or you can take a cold plate, you put a spoon of jam on it and you lift it at 45 degrees: if the jam doesn’t slip away but it has a viscous consistency, then it’s ready.
- Once the jam it’s ready, take a large funnel and fill your jars as fast as possible, leaving about 1/1,5 cm to the top (and take care to keep the edge clean). Then close the jars well, and turn them upside down, put them in a box and cover them with a woolen blanket, until they are cold. If you feel more safe you can then later cover the jars with water and boil them for 30 minutes, but if you put the jam in the jars when it’s still at boiling temperature it will create the void and you don’t need to boil them again.
- Store the jars in a dark and cool place, and wait at least 3/4 weeks before eating your jam 🙂 it will be perfect!
PS: if you would like to make your jam even more special, the first day you could add 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks 🙂 moreover, you can eat your fig jam on bread or you can make cakes, but you can use it also next to some good cheese, try!