Make: Fig and Fennel Jam

ingredients

Back in September when we visited Leicester botanical gardens hidden amongst the grounds and sculptures we spotted a fig tree, bursting with almost ripe figs. The smell was amazing, it took me straight back to childhood holidays spent in Spain and really got me thinking about how to make the most of them when, a few weeks later they would appear in the shops ripe and ready for eating.

Figs are one of my favourite autumn fruits. They are so versatile; great for baking, preserving, eating just as they are with a good cheese or for breakfast with honey, yoghurt and maybe a little granola. Their season here in the UK is short, just from September to October, so this year I thought i’d try preserving them to make them last a little longer. I’ve never tried making fig jam before but I have to say this is now my favourite fig recipe, i’d hoped to make enough to last through the winter but we’ve already worked our way through a couple of jars and the remaining few set aside for Christmas presents may not make it through to December!

Here’s how you make it……

figs

Figs can be expensive so do hunt around for the cheapest. I bought mine from Aldi for a very reasonable price, B also spotted some at Leicester market, 10 for £1 so it’s definitely worth shopping around. Look for figs that are plump, soft and rich purple in colour with unbroken skins.  If you can’t get hold of  a kilo of figs substitute some for cooking apples to bulk up the fruit.

To prepare the figs cut off and discard the tough stalk and cut into halves, then cut each half into quarters. Place the figs, sugar, thyme and lemon zest into the pan with a little water. Gentry heat the fruit so the sugar melts then bring the mix up to the boil. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the temperature reaches 104°C on a jam thermometer. whilst the jam comes up to temperature prepare the spices by toasting them over a gentle heat for a couple of minutes to release the flavour. Grind the pieces in a pestle and mortar then set aside to cool. Once the jam has reached the correct temperature add the ground spices and lemon juice and stir through.

Pour the hot mixture into sterilised jars, place silicone paper onto the top of the jam to seal then screw the lids tightly onto the jars. Set aside to cool. The jam will last 6-8 months if stored in a cool dry place.bubbling

The fig jam is delicious spread onto warm toast for breakfast, but our favourite way to eat it is spread on warm sourdough with plenty of Cropwell Bishop stilton

fig jam, stilton and sourdoughfig jam, stilton and sourdough

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8 thoughts on “Make: Fig and Fennel Jam

  1. Ia dore figs…and I’ve not come come across this recipe before….sounds like I might have to go and buy some quickly….

  2. dropscone says:

    Sounds good! How many figs do you reckon are in a kilo?

  3. jensine says:

    Like the pics, love the idea but really not that into fennel … oh well

    • makedospend says:

      thank you, do you like rosemary? I think if you took out the fennel and coriander then added a little finely chopped rosemary at the end it would be pretty tasty too, but I’ve not tested this

  4. Jess says:

    This sounds lovely. Figs may just be my favourite fruit – so sweet and jammy! You’ve also given me a craving for blue cheese! Although possibly just what’s needed on a grey Monday…

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