Good fresh figs are one of those to-die-for fruits, although they don’t travel well and are usually both underripe and scarily expensive up here in the Great White North.
So when my local store had ripe-looking one-pound packs of figs on offer for $7 for two on a day I had set aside to can tomatoes, I couldn’t resist the deal.
Surely the 45 minutes it takes to waterbath a batch of tomatoes is plenty of time to rustle up a batch of jam?
And how could I resist a peppered balsamic fig jam that the author says “started my love affair with canning”?
Turns out it was super easy, although I’m not quite sure if it’s a jam or a chutney. You chop the figs, simmer them with a little water for a bit, throw in the rest of the ingredients and boil until thick. The only thing I changed was crushing the peppercorns and adding them rather than fiddling around with a sachet of peppercorns and fishing it out at the end. The finished product is a rich, deep purple, with flecks of golden seeds, There’s a cup of balsamic in it, but it tastes mostly of spicy, peppery fig.
With cheese, perhaps? A sharp, sheep’s cheese?
And yes, it was done while the tomatoes were still doing their stuff. I wrote about tomatoes before, so I don’t plan to blog about them this year. Suffice it to two canners are sharing 22 jars of summer in a can. That’s down from 40 jars last year. I see shortages ahead.
How many jars of tomatoes is actually enough?