– A mighty warming autumn mission fig jam recipe with pears and cinnamon-
I was not a kid that liked fruit-flavored sweets. Fruit pies were totally lost on me – even something as life changing as this easy blackberry pie – as were galettes, crumbles, cobblers, and jams. While I enjoyed jam in the sainted PBJ that appeared in my lunchbox every day, I always gravitated toward the deeper, moodier flavor of brown sugar, maple syrup, and chocolate. For me, those flavors have always been the epitome of warmth and comfort.
It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I learned to appreciate the huge range of flavor that fruit can bring to sweet dishes – especially jam, which slowly became my go-to flavor booster. It started with the chance tasting of a particularly luscious strawberry preserve, made from tiny mountain-grown berries that burst with summertime flavor. This wasn’t the insipid grocery store jam I’d grown up with. This was something special.
First, strawberry. Then a fabulous fig jam recipe.
I began dropping a spoonful of jam onto everything: Toast, bagels, bowls of yogurt, even this insanely gorgeous mac and cheese recipe with prosciutto. (You don’t know joy until you’ve experienced the trifecta of creamy cheese, salty ham, and a kiss of sweet raspberry jam.)
Once I learned it was super easy to make jam at home, it was like the floodgates opened. I could throw together interesting flavor combinations leagues ahead of anything I could buy at the store. Hallelujah! I was in foodie heaven!
The greatest realization in my jam recipe adventure was when I discovered I didn’t have to limit myself to summer fruit. Fall and winter, while not considered seasons of abundance, provide gorgeous produce that is just as preservable as anything you’ll find in the middle of July.
Take this fig jam recipe, for instance: sweet figs and pears get a leg up from tart orange juice, and a touch of cinnamon grounds the entire experience in a warm autumn kiss. Sweet and comforting, this jam is phenomenal spread on across fresh scones with a generous layer of ricotta cheese homemade crème fraîche.
- 1 1/2 pounds Bartlett pears, peeled, deseeded, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh mission figs, quartered
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons orange juice, from 1 large orange
- 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest, from 1 large orange
- 1/2 teaspoon butter
- Combine pears, figs, and sugar in a large non-reactive bowl. Stir well and allow to sit covered, at room temperature, for one hour. At this point, place a small plate in the freezer so you can test the jam for proper thickness later.
- Pour the fruit and sugar into a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot. Add cinnamon, orange juice, orange zest, and butter, stirring well to combine. Cook over medium heat, strring frequently, until the fruit begins to bubble and spit. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pot, and lowering heat if necessary.
- After 20 minutes, begin testing the jam for doneness: Spread a 1/2 teaspoon of cooked jam on the cold plate and place it back in the freezer. Wait 30 seconds, then run your finger through the jam. It should be thick enough to maintain a path when you run your finger through it. If you’d like thicker jam, cook for another 4 minutes and test again. Repeat until desired thickness is achieved.
- Remove pot from heat and use a spoon to skim any foam from the surface of the jam. Ladle jam into sterilized jars and process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Unopened jars will keep at room temperature for up to 6 months. Opened jam should be refrigerated.
This content was originally posted on FearlessFresh.com.