Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fig Jam. 9.20.18

 Despite the challenges of yellow jackets, and then ants, I harvested a bowl of figs yesterday.  For ants, I usually wrap a 6 inch section of trunk with plastic wrap, then apply Tanglefoot over it to prevent them from climbing.  But had not done that until last week.  Their numbers are greatly reduced now, and there are figs without ants to harvest.

I usually dry extra figs for later use in breads or hot cereal, but this time wanted to make jam.  I make freezer jam, because I have not learned canning.  I also think that canning cooks longer, and I don't know the effect of that on the nutrition.

However, there is cooking with this jam before freezing.  That breaks down the structure of the figs so they mix better with the pectin solution.

I used Sure-Jell, the one for less or no sugar.  The fig recipe still called for what seemed to me like a lot of sugar.  I followed the recipe because it cautions that using less sugar can result in the pectin not jelling.

It's pretty easy.  I used about 4 1/2 cups of figs.  Washed, cut into half, then used food processor to cut them into a chunky mixture.  I didn't puree, because I like chunks of figs in the jam.  That yielded 2 1/2 cups, which is what the recipe called for.

Then placed into sauce pan.  Mixed pectin with water as the recipe in the box described, added the sugar and lemon juice, and brought to a rolling boil while stirring.  Then portioned into  pint size jars, let cool, and froze. 

This actually jelled almost too well.  I might have been able to use less sugar.

The recipe was:

2 1/2 cups chopped figs.
1 cup water.
1 pkg pectin

 1/4 cup lemon juice (3 small lemons)
3 1/2 cups sugar.

I  mixed the pectin with 1 cup cold water to disperse, and heated in microwave for a minute.  Stirred, then stirred into the pan of figs. Added the sugar, then lemon juice.  Brought to rolling boil, frequently stirring.  Then immediately ladle into clean pint jars, apply lids, then let cool before freezing.  The lid is not tightened until it is frozen.

The appearance is nice, reddish jelly.  It was very good stirred into yogurt.
I think next, I'll try the Pomona pectin, which I read does not require sugar, or as much.

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