Sunday, 9 October 2011

Fig jam


  7 figs, 3 cups jam sugar, water, 1 tsp red wine
Serves: 1 pint jam Preparation: 20 minutes

One of my favourite things to do is make jam. I like the fragrant steam that fills my kitchen, I find stirring and sieving and pouring very soothing and of course I am a fan of making anything which involves toast. Fig jam has a rich, heady flavour that is perfect to drizzle over goats cheese and a beautiful colour.

1) Slice the stalks from the figs and cut each fig into vertical quarters. If you would like textured, seedy jam then remove the skin - if like the picture above you prefer seedless jam then leave the skins intact. Put a spoon in the fridge.

2) Add into a saucepan with a pint of water and stir through on a medium heat, crushing the fruit with your wooden spoon to release as much juice and flavour as possible.

3) It will take about 15 minutes for the water to become infused - at this point remove the pan from the heat and if you're looking for seedless jam, pass the fruit through a sieve before returning it to the hob.

4) Turn the heat up high and add the sugar and a teaspoon of red wine. Stir through and allow the liquid to froth up to a rolling boil that can not be stirred back down. Remove from the heat and drip a little into the cold spoon. If it sets within a few seconds then the jam is ready. Return to the heat and allow it to froth up again for another 30 seconds until it sets in the spoon.

5) Transfer from the pan to a pouring jug or use a pouring ladle to transfer to hot, sterilised jars. Put the lids on (be careful not to burn yourself on the hot jars!) and set aside to cool to room temperature before putting in the fridge.

6) Once opened, this will keep for about a month and is best served with goats cheese on crusty ciabatta.

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