Yield 2 cups (500 ml)
This luxurious Balsamic Fig Jam improves breakfast spreads, increases the appeal of baked goods, and creates unforgettable savory bites. It makes for a unique gift, too!
In a large measuring cup or a heatproof bowl, add the figs and half of the sugar (1 cup/250 ml) and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Transfer the fig and sugar mixture to a small stainless steel saucepan. (The mixture should come halfway up the sides of the saucepan.) Set over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring from time to time with a silicon spatula. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat and transfer back to the measuring cup or heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, then let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
Sterilize jam jars if you do not plan to use the jam within two weeks. (See note below for instructions.) If you plan to use the jam within two weeks, you should still make sure the jars and lids you use are sparkling clean. Clean jars and lids in hot soapy water, then leave to dry while you prepare the jam. You can also run the jars and lids in the dishwasher set at the "sterilization" cycle.
Transfer the fig and sugar mixture back into the saucepan. Keep a skimmer or a slotted spoon close to the stove. Place a small plate in the refrigerator. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and bring the fruit back to a boil, stirring from time to time with a silicon spatula. Stir in the remaining sugar, the lemon juice, and the balsamic vinegar. Boil, stirring, until the mixture is thick but not to concentrated, about 10 minutes. Skim off any foam that rises, dipping the spoon or skimmer into the bowl of water to remove the foam.
To test for doneness, remove the place from the refrigerator and place a spoonful of jam on it. Wait for 20 seconds, then tilt the plate. The fig jam should only run very slowly. Boil a little longer if it seems too runny, keeping in mind the jam will thicken further as it cools. You want the fig jam to remain spreadable.
Carefully fill the clean jars with the hot jam, leaving 1/4 inch (a little over 0.5 cm) headspace at the top. Wipe the sealing surface of the jars with a clean paper towel, dampened with hot water, to remove any jelly, jam or sugar crystals. Add clean lids and tighten screw bands.
To preserve the jam, process according to the instructions below. Otherwise, let the jam cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Unsterilized fig jam and opened jars will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from a recipe by Martha Rose Shulman, The New York Times.
How to sterilize jars and lids for preserving: All jams, jellies, and pickled products processed less than 10 minutes should be filled into sterile empty jars. Since this recipe hits right at the 10-minute mark, I recommend you to sterilize the jars you'll be using if you do not plan on consuming the jam within two weeks.
To sterilize empty jars: Wash lids and jars in hot soapy water, rinse, then transfer to a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, making sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch (2 cm). Keep the lids and jars in hot water until you're ready to fill them. Remove and drain hot sterilized jars one at a time. (Save the water for processing filled jars.) Carefully fill jars with the hot jam, leaving 1/4 inch (a little over 0.5 cm) headspace at the top. Wipe the sealing surface of the jars with a clean paper towel, dampened with hot water, to remove any jelly, jam or sugar crystals. Add clean lids and tighten screw bands.
Using a jar lifter, return the filled jars to the hot water bath, making sure the jars do not touch each other and the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch (2 cm). Bring the water to a simmer, then set a timer for 10 minutes. (Processing time varies to the altitude where you live. See this guide to select the correct processing time.)
Using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars from the hot water and place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft. Cool jars upright for 12 to 24 hours while vacuum seal is drawn and the jam or jelly sets up. Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool. Store the jam in a cool, dark place until ready to use.
This information is adapted from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Please refer to their website for additional information and preserving advice.
Courses Breakfast, Dessert, Appetizers
Recipe by Food Nouveau at https://foodnouveau.com/recipes/condiments-preserves/balsamic-fig-jam/