I love summer canning. Jams. Pickles. Jalapenos. I love it all.
Last week I was able to go to a very generous neighbor's house and picked figs from her tree.
10 pounds of figs. No less.
I had a friend visiting from out of town and we were already in canning mode making peach preserves and prickly pear jelly from some goodies she had picked at her family's property.
These figs were perfect for jam. Unbelievably juicy, sweet, and ripe.
If you have never worked with figs I want to tell you how easy they are to prepare. Wash. Chop. That simple. No peeling like peaches. No coring like apples. Easy and quick.
It took us no time to quarter 5 of the 10 pounds of the juicy gems.
Cooking took a little longer. We ended up boiling it down for 45 minutes to get it to a thick and sticky consistency perfect to serve with cream cheese and bagels.
And, my gosh, the smell was fabulous.
Sometimes getting it right can be tricky, but we got lucky with the figs and got it perfect. I know this because I have already opened a jar for some family that were in town for the weekend. (Goat cheese with figs and toasted walnuts on crackers).
I've already decided that I now need a fig tree of my own. It's a given. My neighbor's tree has been in the ground for 3 years and already she has more figs than she can use on her own. Hopefully I won't forget I want to do this between now and January when it would be ideal to plant one.
As for our canning, we were successful. Fourty-eight cans of jams and jellies all from fresh produce we didn't buy in the store. Next time we'll try Mesquite Jelly. Just waiting on the pods to ripen.
Orange Fig Jam
5 pounds of figs
1 lemon, seeded and thinly sliced
juice and peel of one orange
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cloves
Combine all the ingredients above in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Stir often and boil gently for 30-45 minutes checking for desired consistency. Ladle jam into prepared sterilized half pint jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from the bath and cool. Makes approximately 12 jars.