Fig. Balsamic. Lavender. Booze.
Is there a more perfect combination? I don’t think so.
Growing up my grandmother always made muscadine jam using muscadines right fresh from my grandad’s vines (where I was stung on the lip by a bee, couldn’t be a flower girls in my aunt’s wedding, and was scarred for life 🙂 ).
The jam was sweet and fresh, the perfect accompaniment to a slice of toast in the morning or a grilled PB&J on a cold winter evening. Basically, it’s the jam.
After I moved out of my mom’s house, my jam supply was cut off! Hearing about my cravings for it, my grandmother began giving me jars for Christmas. The perfect gift! She would even make a meat sauce with it that is wonderful on pork or tempeh mixed with spicier, Asian-inspired flavors.
All of this to say I never had any idea how to make jam. Truthfully, I never felt particularly move to try. Why bother when my Grandmother is my supplier?!
Until I stumbled upon this article about a jam stand (not to be confused with a jam band) in NYC and began thinking about the possibilities…
They make Drunken Monkey Jam – banana, rum, and lime. Best. Idea. Ever.
But it is winter and those are summer flavors. Then I saw this fig conserve by the lovely Grubarazzi.
In my version I replaced the honey with a bit of agave and Stevia. It wasn’t detectable at all – probably because the figs were so ripe and sweet. I also increased the rosemary and added Grand Marnier. The orange liquor was awesome with the savory rosemary flavor and the touch of acid from the balsamic.
Is it my grandmother’s jam? No. It’s a different jam, and I still ate it with joy.
I even ate some with peanut butter on toast one morning, reminiscent of my childhood grilled PB&J.
Fig and Rosemary Jam
- 1 C fresh black mission figs, quartered and stemmed
- 2/3 C water
- 1 T light agave nectar
- 10 drops NuNaturals Pure Liquid Vanilla Stevia
- 1 T good-quality balsamic (I used a 12-year aged)
- 2 T Grand Mariner (optional)
- 2 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 tsp Guar Gum
- In a sauce pan stir together ingredients (except Guar) and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to simmer, cover pan, and let cook for 20 mins, or until liquid reduces.
- Mash with a fork to break up the fig (chunks will remain).
- Stir, returning lid and simmering as necessary until most of liquid is evaporated and the mixture begins to thicken.
- Mix Guar Gum with a tsp of cold water and immediately pour in to pan.
- Stir immediately, as mix will thicken nearly instantaneously.
- Transfer to a standard jelly jar (or other glass jar) and allow to cool before covering. Store in fridge.
My first “real” jam. I’m over the hump – beware!
What is your favorite jam flavor?
What new things have you tried lately?