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Peppered Balsamic Fig Jam

(post, Martine Holston)

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{For full blog post, pictures, and recipe, click here}

This is the jam that started my love affair with canning.  And, full disclosure, my desire to make jam stemmed from daydreaming about my Thanksgiving cheese plate.  In August.  Because I secretly think about and plan holidays months in advance.  Now you know my deep, dark secret.  Hanging my head in shame.

My dad has a fig tree, and as you know, figs are one of my favorite things in life.  I thought blue cheese.  I thought fig jam.  Done.

I scoured cookbooks for recipes, and ended up combining a couple of recipes to get the flavor I was after – not too sweet, with the full flavor of fig but a little extra depth from balsamic vinegar.  It’s pretty close to the recipe in Put ‘em Up, with the addition of the peppercorn sachet that gives it a nice peppery finish.

The skins are kept on the figs in this recipe.  To break them down, boil the figs in water for five minutes and then mash them with a wooden spoon or potato masher. For the sachet, you can either use a piece of cheesecloth and tie with a cotton cord, or (if you’re lazy like me) you can buy these pre-made spice sachets at a hardware store.  Cook down until nice and jammy, about 20 minutes.

This jam is AWESOME.  My cheese plate was a hit at Thanksgiving last year.  Since then, I’ve also put it in almond butter sandwiches, slathered it on scones, put it in dessert bars, and eaten it by the spoonful.  It’s also good on vanilla ice cream and stirred into oatmeal.  This is probably my most popular jam – so please enjoy!

Click here for the recipe.