Black Mission Fig Jam

I forget that these are dried figs, probably because they’re so rich and sticky. Nothing about them seems dry in that concentrated sweetness. I mean, these figs are practically jam all on their own without any help from me.

It’s been pouring just about every afternoon since we got back from California, and it seemed like a good time to make a jam. Mostly you have to get up and stir every now and then as the whole thing cooks down for up to an hour. Read while you wait. As the figs cook and absorb the mustard, it smells like a fruity balsamic vinegar. As everything comes to a simmer, the figs have already stained the water a shade of burgundy.

My inclination was to add wine, especially since there was a dry chardonnay corked and waiting in the fridge. This was a good move. The wine perked up the flavors in the jam.

This Black Mission Fig Jam is thick and chunky, tasting so purely of fig without being too sweet. Bon Appétit presents it as just the thing for a ham and cheddar biscuit sandwich. This sounds fantastic, but that’s just one way to enjoy this jam.

Spread it on your leftover waffles for breakfast. It’s perfect with cheese. Fig jam with goat cheese on little rounds of toasted baguette – sounds great, right? Maybe with a little basil or mint on top. Stir some into yogurt or hot oatmeal. Make a sandwich with crusty bread, prosciutto, and brie. Let me know what else you come up with.

black mission fig jam

This jam is thick and tastes purely of sweet and sticky fig. The wine wakes up the flavor. It will keep for 2 weeks if covered and stored in the fridge. If you prefer more recognizable bits of fruit in your jam, reserve some of the reduced figs and later stir them into the finished, smoothed out jam.

1/2 pound (about 21) dried black Mission figs, stemmed, thinly sliced
1 cup water
2 tablespoons (light) molasses
3/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon dry white wine, plus more (for you and the jam)

Combine figs, 1 cup water, molasses, sugar, mustard, pepper, salt, and 1 tablespoon wine in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring everything to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered until figs are very soft and the water has thickened into a jam,  45 minutes to an hour. Stir occasionally, adding wine a tablespoon or a splash at a time to keep the jam from sticking to the saucepan.

Purée jam in a food processor. Add wine a teaspoon at a time for a thinner jam. Move jam to a jar or bowl and serve.

Makes 1 1/4 cups. Adapted from Bon Appétit.

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