I was over at my neighbour’s place the other day, picking up a box of apples. This took quite a while as I do like a good chat, even from a safe 2 meters away! Anyway, we made it out to my car with the box and I couldn’t help but notice how great the fig tree was doing, even in this drought. Everything else was looking so stressed, but the fig tree was doing great.
It was loaded with figs and that is when I found out that all these figs go to waste. No one eats them. They just fall off the tree and are considered a problem because then you end up waking on figs that stick to your shoes and makes a mess!
So my neighbour, Rosie, and I started picking and I ended up with three kilograms of figs as well as a box of apples. Before I even got my treasure home I knew what I was going to do. Apples and Figs are a perfect combination for a jam with apples being high in natural pectin and figs being low. It is the apples that make fig jam really work well. Apples also make the figs, which can be expensive, go further.
Now three kilograms is a lot, so I prepared the figs for jam making, then placed some pre-weighed batches into freezer bags for later use.
Then, using the free apples and figs, I got stuck into jam making. Here is my Apple and Fig Jam recipe:
- 1 kg apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 kg figs cut in half or smaller if they are large
- 600 to 800 grams of xylitol
- 4 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin or another brand of low methyl ester pectin
- 4 teaspoons calcium water (See pectin packet for directions)
- 5 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Place your chopped apples and figs into your preserving pan with half a cup of water and cook on medium heat until the fruit has softened.
- Stir frequently and ensure that you do not burn the fruit. Add more water if necessary.
- Give the fruit a bit of a mash with a potato masher to release some of the juice and natural pectin.
- Once the fruit is cooked you are ready to add your other ingredients. Remember, you make jam out of cooked fruit, not raw fruit.
- Mix your pectin with you xylitol and then add it to the fruit. Stir to dissolve.
- Add your calcium water and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Return your mixture to the boil and boil at a full, rolling boil for one minute.
- Remove from heat.
- Using a ladle and jar funnel, place your jam into your hot, sterilised 250 ml jars, leaving a one and a half centimetre headspace.
- Clean the rims of the jar, to ensure you get a good clean seal and cap with your sterilised lids.
- Cap with new lids.
- Process your filled jars in a boiling water bath for five minutes. Alternatively, if you did not pre sterilise your jars and lids, process them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
This jam is delicious. Try it the old fashioned way with scones and cream. Sometimes old ideas are the best.