|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
The warm, bright flavors of red wine and balsamic vinegar perfectly balance the rich sweetness of ripe figs in this easy jam recipe. It's fabulous on toast, but also try it served with mild goat cheese and crackers for quick hors-d'oeuvres.
- 3 pounds ripe, fresh figs
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Wash the figs. Cut off the stems. If the figs are small, just cut them in half. Cut larger figs into quarters.
Put the figs in a large stainless steel pot. Stir in the sugar, honey, red wine, and the balsamic vinegar. Cover the pot and let the ingredients sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
Remove the cover from the pot. Bring the ingredients to a boil over high heat. Continue to cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to thicken. Once it begins to thicken, stir constantly to prevent the jam from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Test frequently at this stage for the gel point.
Once the jam reaches the gel point, turn off the heat. Ladle the jam into clean canning jars leaving half an inch of headspace between the top of the food and the rims of the jars. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean dishcloth or paper towel. Screw on the lids.
For long-term storage at room temperature, process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (adjust the canning time if you live at a high altitude). The jam will keep, unopened, for at least a year. Note that once you open one of the jars, you will need to store it in the refrigerator just as you would with store-bought jam.
You can also skip the boiling water bath canning process and simply put the jars of jam straight into the refrigerator. If you opt for this version, it is not necessary to use special canning jars. The jars of fig jam will keep in the refrigerator for three months.
This jam pairs beautifully with soft, mildly acidic cheeses such as chevre or feta. Double up the fig flavor by combining chopped fresh figs with fig jam and balance it with chunks of juicy cantaloupe or honeydew melon for a special fruit salad. Also, try spooning some fig jam into yogurt for a quick breakfast or snack. Last but not least: yes, fig jam with wine and balsamic vinegar is also delicious on bread.