There are many things I enjoy about my job, but above all else, I love the time spent developing, testing, and photographing recipes. My love for this process began right here on this little blog and continues to be an unmatched source of inspiration to me.
Besides armloads of dirty dishes, the only other downfall to my work is the not insignificant amount of food leftover in my half-size refrigerator. For instance, last week I had a pound of black mission figs, slightly bruised and far from perfect, remaining from a project earlier in the week. Each time I opened the refrigerator door, I wondered how to best utilize the fruit. Pie? Cake? Crumble? I couldn’t make up my mind - so many options! - until one morning when I realized I only had until the end of the day until the figs would rot.
Given my fading window of opportunity, I stopping tricking myself into believing I had hours to bake a pie or cake from scratch or that I was hosting a large dinner party where people could dig their spoons into the warm crumble. So, jam was the answer I had been looking for all along! Minimal ingredients and time in the kitchen ensured the figs were properly showcased, without sacrificing time I just did not have in the day.
YIELDS Four 4-ounce jars
The combination of figs and lemons yield a jam that is both robust and fresh. The addition of rose wine means there is the slightest hint of berry on your tongue, but you could also substitute white wine or water if you do not wish to use wine. I love spreading a thick layer of this jam on a warm, buttered baguette and a strong cup of coffee.
1 pound fresh black mission figs, stemmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
Zest of 1 lemon
¾ cups sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup rose wine
In a large, nonreactive saucepan, toss the fig pieces with the lemon zest and sugar. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is mostly dissolved and the figs are juicy, about 15 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and wine and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer the fig jam over medium heat, stirring often, until the fruit is soft and the liquid runs off the side of a spoon in thick, heavy drops, about 20 minutes.
Spoon the jam into four 4-ounce jelly jars, leaving ¼-inch of space at the top. Close the jars and let cool to room temperature. Store the jam in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.