Fig Jam and the Cheese Plate

Figs are almost in! I can see them in their trees as I pass by now. No longer, are they too small to find through the blankets of luscious leaves. Soon the branches will be heavy with them and anyone who has a tree is lucky! Hopefully, you have a friendly neighbor who is just dying to share their fruit with you or perhaps one of their branches hangs over your fence! Either way, if you love figs, you will LOVE this jam! My snot nosed kids get to eat the berry jams and the stone fruit jams. They beg me to make them their own jams without “all the freaky flavors, mom!”, but the fig… that’s for me. I discovered my love of figs at a very young age. My grandma was nuts about them! So, they are as sweet in my memories as they are on my tongue. One of my favorite ways to use it is on a cheese plate. This jam is the perfect accompaniment to a variety of cheeses. A few examples would be a basic goat, I like Laura Chenel’s  goat available at just about any grocery, the Humboldt Fog would be lovely as well and it was recently suggested that I use an aged English cheddar called Seaside. Any tangy cheese would be fantastic with this jam. Just add a large smear to your platter or board, spoon some into a small dish or my favorite serving option is to stick the jar right in between your cheese and other accoutrements. A lot of markets have extensive cheese selections these days and they usually have a person who can help you navigate your way through some that you may never have tried before. My girls at Whole Foods, yes, I’m talking about my family at the grocery again, are a wealth of knowledge. I can always rely on Misty, Mapuana and Stacy to give me good advice on look, feel and flavor pairings. In fact, I love them so much that I wanted to introduce them to you! Readers, meet Misty and Mapuana (Stacy was being shy and didn’t want her picture taken, but trust me she’s just as adorable as these two)

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Fig is not the only jam you can use with a cheese platter. In fact, any of the jam recipes I’ve shared would be a delicious addition! Ask your local cheese monger what they might suggest for a particular jam and try something new! While the fruit is in, be sure to add some fresh slices to your platter for a lovely topping.

You will need the following:

  •  4 cups chopped figs, woody part of stem removed and I like the skin on
  • The zest of one lemon
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 5 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 box sure-jell pectin

Directions:

1. Place fruit, zest and juice in a large heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium high heat.

2. Add pectin and bring to a rolling boil (a boil that continues even when you’re stirring), stir often.

3. Once you’ve reached your boil, add sugar all at once and combine.

4. Bring back up to a rolling boil and let it cook for one minute more.

5. Remove from heat, pour into sterilized jars and screw on lids. Once lids are fastened, flip over and allow to cool lid side down to ensure a good seal.

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