I once volunteered on an organic farm in South Africa where they had a whole yard of ripe figs and didn’t know what to do with them. I combined them with another local delight, bundles of blooming lavender, to create this unique jam. Photo courtesy of Shiran Dickman.
- 5 cups figs, diced
- 5 cups sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 cup strong lavender blossom infusion (fresh or dried lavender flowers steeped in boiling water for 5–8 minutes and then strained)
- Cook figs and lavender infusion until it begins to look like sauce, mashing it up as it cooks with a potato masher. Add lemon juice and sugar, continue cooking until the jam reaches 220 degrees. Begin to do freezer tests* until you like the consistency. Serve with cheese or for general use.
- * How to determine if your boiled jam has gelled: First, take its temperature. A candy or jelly thermometer will do the trick. If your jam has reached 220 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be gelled, but the best way to test it is to put several small plates or spoons in the freezer before starting the project. Then when you think the jam might be gelled, take a frozen plate or spoon, put a dollop of jam on it, put it back in the freezer for a few minutes and then see how it behaves. You should be able to tell if it is still syrup or has become jam. Once you are happy with the consistency, pour the jam (carefully!) into sterilized glass jars, cap with fresh Ball jar lids and boil the jars for at least 10 minutes.