Monday, September 20, 2010

Fig Jam

Every once in a while a new food follows me home from the grocery store. I don't mean for it to happen. One minute I'm sticking to the list and the next minute a food stuff I can't pronounce or have no idea how to eat is in my cart. Last weekend figs followed me home:

Sometimes I buy food I don't need or won't eat because I think it's pretty. I know. It's an odd habit to have let alone admit. For example, two weeks ago I brought home the cutest little baby eggplants I had no intention of eating because they were perfectly shaped and a deep, lustrous purple. I put them in my fruit/veggie bowl on the counter and admired them until they rotted. Then I threw them away.

Figs are okay as far as looks go, but they aren't eggplant. Which is to say I wanted to make something out of these figs. In the back of my mind I think I was recalling a recipe I read in Bon Appetit when I bought the figs - Country Ham and Cheese Biscuit Sandwiches with Fig Jam. The jam part of this recipe does indeed call for black mission figs but dried, not fresh. Foiled! So I poked around Google for a bit and came upon various recipes for fig jam, most of which called for the figs to be cut up and simmered in a sugar/water combo. So that's what I did:

I made a simple sugar syrup out of water and sugar and threw in my cut figs. Plus a splash of vanilla. They didn't thicken after an hour of simmering, so I turned up the heat a bit and sprinkled on more sugar. After another thirty minutes or so I had something that appeared to be the consistency of a jam. So I cooled it and I mason jar-ed it. Then I had to decide what I was going to do with it.

Sunday morning at breakfast I decided to put the jam into action. I made fried egg sandwiches with bacon and mozzarella on toasted english muffins with...a nice helping of fig jam spread on the bottom muffin. I like foods that serve up a salty / sweet combination and this hit the sweet (and salty!) spot. You can't see the fig jam in the picture below but trust me, it's there. I still have about 1/2 cup of jam left so let's see if I can get creative and use it up before it goes the way of the eggplant.

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