What do you do when life gives you figs? Frankly, my dear, who knew that life even gives a fig?
I would never feel surprised to open my front door to find an orphaned bag of, say, zucchini. Even other garden surplus wouldn’t surprise me. But figs? This is clearly in the realm of a blessing.
Figs do bear biblical meaning but here we part ways, for we’re going to ply them with sugar, rosemary and wine…..a sweet wine made in the Port style of Oregon Tempranillo grapes. Life will be good for us and the figs.
My quest for an agreeable method led me to this recipe on a blog by the name Opera Girl Cooks. Since my past includes hundreds of hours laboring in the pit of many an opera and ballet, I felt like a destiny had been fulfilled.
Wait, it doesn’t stop with Opera Girl. This recipe is a guest post from Maia Jasper, a professional violinist from Los Angeles. Something is so right about landing here. Maia’s blog is titled Sweet Alchemies.
Drunken Fig Preserves with Rosemary, Lemon and Port Wine
Adapted from a recipe on Opera Girl Cooks and Gourmet
If you’re new to canning, as I was, prepare yourself with the basics. Here’s an excellent site to learn: Ball Corporation – Maker of Ball Canning Jars
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 3 pounds (1.4 kg) fresh ripe figs, stemmed and cut into small pieces
- ¾ cup (180 ml) sugar
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, about 8 inches (20 cm)
- ¾ cup (180 ml) port wine (I used Illahe Vineyards Tempranillo Port-style Dessert Wine)
- ¼ teaspoon (1.2 ml) Kosher or sea salt
- Remove the zest from the lemon, and juice.
- Add the figs and sugar, tossing to evenly coat the figs, and let stand until the sugar is dissolved.
- Combine with remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook as jam thickens.
- Stir frequently. You can use a potato masher to crush any large pieces of fig.
- Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the liquid runs off a wooden spoon in thick droplets.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Remove the rosemary sprig and ladle jam into sterilized jars for processing.
- Jars and lids must be sterilized.
- Sealing lids can be used only once.
- Rims of jars must be perfectly clean after filling jar.
I read recently that it’s best to store home-canned food without the screw lids on. If there is a problem inside, the gasses produced will blow the seal and you can discard the bad jar. Safety first when it comes to canning.
Fancy preserves such as this go well with cheese platters, other roast meats and, of course, on your favorite breakfast bread or muffin with a cup of wonderful coffee or tea. Enjoy!
About the Author (Author Profile)
Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles’ life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities