After 2 years of blogging and seeing lots of posts on people enjoying fresh figs. I finally got enough courage to buy some.
Last Sunday, I found a basket of them for 350 yen at Carrefour. In some places, the price can range from 350 yen to 550 yen (or higher), so I felt that 350 was a good buy, plus there were about 8 figs in the basket.
We had 2 of the figs for dessert on Sunday night. I rinsed and sliced them in half then popped them under the grill for about 5 minutes. Then drizzled some Big Island honey on them. We didn't know if we could eat the skins, so we sucked out the insides which were delicious.
With the remaining 6, I decided to look around for an easy recipe. The book by Christine Ferber, master of jams and jellies in France popped into my head. I looked through for recipes using figs and found one using only 4 ingredients--figs, sugar, vanilla bean and lemon.
(I've seen her jams in Shinjuku's Istean but never bought any because they are pricey, but I have tried chocolate she made for Salon du Chocolat, under the name Maison Ferber, which was delicious.)
I didn't have lemon on hand but did have some shiquasa, so I used the juice of 2 of them.
The recipe does take some planning ahead. After rinsing and slicing the figs, the ingredients need to macerate for an hour.
After the hour, I brought the mixture to a simmer then chilled it overnight.
The next day, I prepared my jars by washing and sterilizing them. I put them into a 180 C(350 F) oven for 5 minutes (actually the book says 108 C (225 F) but I read it wrong...sigh), and left them in the oven until I was ready to fill them.
I took the mixture and brought it to a boil, skimming off the foam that formed. I cooked it for about 10 minutes--the foam will stop forming when the jam reaches the jelling point.
I carefully removed the vanilla bean and cut it to put some into each jar. I filled the jars up to the top then covered them. Then while the jars were still hot, I turned them upside down and let them cool in that position (the book said to do this, I think it creates a vaccuum).
This was my first time making jam (well, I made strawberry jam before but I didn't put it into jars, so that didn't really count as making jam to me.)
I must say, even though it took some work, it was worth it. This jam was delicious on plain yogurt, maybe a bit too sweet for ice cream. It was great with a smidge of cream cheese on toast.
I think it will also be nice with pork. The vanilla adds a nice warmth to the flavor and I like the deep reddish color.
If you haven't tried fresh figs, you better hurry, from what I've read on the net, the season for figs is rather short.
p.s. it is Keiro no hi (Grandparent's Day or be kind to elders day) = holiday, so we were visiting Satoshi's mom...hope you have a great week.