Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fig Jam


"Oh bring us some figgy pudding, oh bring us a figgy pudding, oh bring us a figgy pudding..."  It's that time of year again.  Today there will be no figgy puddings, but there will be some Fig Jam. This vegetarian slow cooker lives in an area of town called Fig Garden, smack dab in one of the fig capitals of the world. Two pounds of fresh figs and other goodies were turned into seven 4oz jars of slow cooked madness. Be prepared: This week will feature an abundance of chutney, jams, and fruit & nut butters, because Santa is busy in the workshop getting ready to ship slow cooked love in a jar to all - even the naughty. 


This took a long time.  Inspiration recipes called for only 5 hours of slow cooking, but this took too many hours to count accurately.  The reasons are not entirely clear.  There was the additional factor of a newly purchased double crock twin based slow cooker. Perhaps it cooks at a lower temperature than its single counterpart.  Perhaps not.   The recipes that came with the double have the exact same cooking times as any other Rival crock pot. The spoon notch was covered up with some aluminum foil, so heat loss could not have been the culprit.

A note on why the double crock and not the triple crock that is for sale at Costco right now.  The triple is long, large, and bulky.  It is likely to come out only during holiday and party events.  The double is easily carried and stored.  It fits nicely on a counter and leaves room for other things.  The crocks are about 2 1/2-3 quarts each, so it is perfect for a family to make a main dish and a side at the same time.  This was also the perfect size to navigate into a car for my dinner and dessert contributions to Grey's Anatomy family bonding night.  Bottom line:  It was likely to get more regular use.

Winner, Loser or Meh

This is delicious.  I am not a fig lover but this was really unique and special. The flavor combination is smashing.  It will be smashing on English muffins, and I also think a small jar over brie before baking would be divine.

Recipe

I used a 2 1/2 quart crock for this - perfect size

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fresh figs, peeled with vegetable peeler, cut into 8ths  (I used Caifornia Figs, because, well.... they are in my neighborhood)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I used organic pure cane)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lemon, diced, including the rind, remove the seeds
  • 2 1/2 - 3 Tbls crystallized ginger, finely diced
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  Remove cover and cook until reaches a warm jam like consistency.  This was supposed to take 1-2 hours and instead took many (more than 5).  While still hot, pour into clean, sterilized 4 oz jars, cover with new lids, and process for 15 minutes.  OR store covered in fridge for 3 weeks. This makes 3 1/2 cups.

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