Late this past summer, when I should have been obsessed with writing recipes for grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free meals, I was obsessed with figs. I don’t know why, except that the Black Mission figs looked and tasted amazing this year. I couldn’t get enough of fig jam and cheese on bread and crackers.
This recipe was originally destined to be in a cookbook I’m finishing up, but because it has seeds in it I thought it might be dicey for some folks.
So I pulled the recipe from the book and thought I would hold on to it for another time, which has become now. I’ve been sharing a few jars of this lip-smacking jam here and there, and I’ll probably do a bit more of the same over the next few weeks.
Before I share the recipe, I want to share my holiday wish list with you, and also share a suggested wish list for someone you may know who’s made a change in their eating and cooking style. Both lists are all about cooking and baking. What a surprise.
What’s crazy for me is that I have an Amazon Prime account, so I bought myself practically everything on my wish list a while ago. There’s something about getting what I want two days after I wish for it, and no shipping cost. As a matter of fact, I’ve been racking up the Amazon brown boxes to the tune of about one box a day. This is an addiction I must break soon.
Here’s what’s left of my wish list:
- a cure for Crohn’s disease (not to mention all auto-immune diseases please)
- and we can retroactively include everything else I’ve purchased over at Amazon the past 3 months and call me good
Here’s a short wish list for someone starting out on a new diet, a new eating lifestyle, or just trying to kick up their health along with their cooking and baking repertoire:
- food processor
- high-speed blender
- anything OXO
- Lodge skillets
- a good baking sheet or two
- non-stick baking mats
- insulated oven mitts
I could go on for a while, but that’s a good start.
We’ve delayed our Hanukkah festivities until my oldest finishes up finals and comes home from school, and my big book deadline is at the end of this week. All this means I’m not sure I’ll get to sharing any more recipes until after December 15th. Until then, here’s what I’m cooking up (besides a book):
- zucchini pancakes
- potato latkes
- butternut squash latkes
- cauliflower scallion pancakes
- herb-crusted rib eye, for the men (and a few women) in my life
- roasted brussel sprouts
- french onion soup
Drunken Fig JamThe alcohol in this recipe cooks off over time, so you’re left with the flavor and sweetness of it. You can replace the brandy with wine, or even a white or red grape juice if you want to eliminate the flavor of alcohol. Brandy and other fruity, sweeter alcohol sources will add to the sweetness of the jam, so you can reduce the amount of honey if you prefer the jam less sweet. If you’re following a low-sugar diet, you can replace brandy with an alcohol that isn’t as sweet, such as a dry wine or dry liquor. You can also swap out a lot of the honey and replace it with another sweet fruit, such as blueberries.
- 1 medium lemon
- 2 pounds of fresh figs (about 5 cups), stemmed and diced into small pieces
- 1 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of brandy (or cognac, wine, or grape juice)
- 1/4 teaspoon of kosher sea salt (or other salt)
- Peel the yellow skin (not the white part) off of the lemon using a vegetable peeler. Cut the peels into small strips or pieces. You’ll have about 1 1/2 tablespoons of peels when finished.
- Combine the lemon peels and all the other ingredients in a saucepan or non-reactive bowl, and let them all hang out together for about an hour.
- Place the saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a steady, low boil. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until the jam is thick. Stir occasionally. As they get softer, mash the figs with a spoon or potato masher and blend well. Add water as necessary.
- To can the jam, place the jam in sterilized jars and immerse in boiling water for 10 minutes, or just store the jam in the refrigerator for a few weeks. You can also freeze the jam, just leave some space at the top of the jar and cool before placing them in the freezer.
Makes about 4 cups