We Relocated back to Arizona in October, 2015. Most of our living has been desert landscape or a very small "postage stamp" lot. We found a beautiful home in a historic district and I've never had so much grass, bushes and greenery in my life!
Our neighbor has several fruit bearing trees. Oranges, grapefruit and persimmons to name a few. Well....I have a fig tree. I was pretty excited about it as I L❤️VE figs! I remember growing up in my wonderful neighborhood on Buckingham Drive in El Paso, the Elias family had a fig tree and I thought how cool is that. It was so different to have a fig tree I thought and they were so tasty too. I couldn't wait until they were ripe so we could enjoy.
Flashback to the present...I have a fig tree and wanted to find out what kind it was. Well until it starts producing the fruit, I really wasn't sure. I researched a lot on the web and talked to a couple of local nurseries. I am fortunate because we have bi-weekly irrigation so it is getting plenty of water. I've been watching it and soon it started producing all that wonderful fruit. So I (along with every wild bird in the neighborhood) watched carefully and when they were ready I started harvesting and yes...I shared with the wild birds too. There are so many...and it's still producing more fruit.
I finally found out I have a Kadota Fig Tree. Which, from what I read, is the figs they use in Fig Newtons. They stay a greenish/yellowish color unlike the Mission or Brown Turkey Figs that turn a deep purple or brown. So what do you do with figs??? Why make fig jam!!!
I made up my first batch...wasn't hard, just takes time to simmer and thicken. The end result....Johnny says "De-lish! I'm pretty happy with it myself. In case you're interested...here's the recipe. And you know what? It's great on a piece of toast and a cup of Johnny Lolita's Coffee (shameless plug). I paired it with our Costa Rican....very nice. However, this would be wonderful in making up a Charcuterie Board using some goat cheese or Manchego....oh and a glass of wine. (Wink wink, smiley face)
Here's the recipe;
- 2 lbs of figs stemmed and quartered. (I used the Kadota figs which are probably not as sweet as the Mission or Brown Turkey Figs)
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- ½ cup honey (or sub with the same amount of sugar)
- Juice of 1½ lemons
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place the figs, sugar, honey, & lemon juice in a large sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring to combine as the sugar melts. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook until thickened, about 50-60 minutes. Be sure to stir the pan often to prevent sticking and/or burning, especially as the mixture thickens. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and cool completely.
- Store the jam in jars or other air tight containers in the refrigerator. You can also can them, just follow the instructions for canning.
Because the figs thicken on their own, you don't need to add pectin therefore no need to can. However, if you are gifting to someone, putting them in a mason jar and adding a cute Kraft style sticker makes a great special gift!