I think that figs don't get the attention they so truly deserve! I mean, don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of fig bars (as in Fig Newtons) but there is so much more to this exotic fruit than meets the eye! For example, there's fig jam, fig balsamic vinegar, fig and Gorgonzola pizza, stuffed figs and well you get the idea now. They are in season from late summer to early winter. Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber.
So, when I saw the huge display of beautiful figs at the market last week, I decided that it was the perfect time to make some fig jam. Maybe the fall weather that is rolling into Chicago inspired me.....could be. Nothing compares to homemade jam! So here is my attempt at jam-making. At first I was a little rusty- I haven't done this for years, but as I watched the figs just contentedly bubbling away and smelled the aroma of the figs, sugar and cinnamon wafting through the house, I knew I was doing something right and I think there's another batch happening in the near future!
Fig Jam with Ginger and Cinnamon3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 lbs. mission or green figs
1 3" inch strip lemon zest
1 cinnamon stick
juice of 1/2 lemon
about a 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into large chunks
Add water and sugar to a pan and place on a medium heat to dissolve.
Remove the stems from the figs and cut into quarters. Add to the sugar mixture along with lemon zest, cinnamon stick, ginger and lemon juice. Bring the mix to a light simmer and leave the pan uncovered. Cook for about 1 hour or until the mix thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Spoon into clean jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. This recipe makes 3 1/2 pint jars.