In honour of my two Peace Corps visitors who loved the fig and plum jam I picked up at the market, I thought I would attempt making my own version. Sadly, Pam and Sam have already left an their 3 month African adventure, so they are no longer available to taste the final product. At least they will have the recipe to make their own jam when they finally arrive state side.
I decided to make this jam as my figs were on their last legs and I had some plums that were beginning to see better days as well.
Since the plums and figs were very sweet, I thought I would reduce the amount of sugar that I thought necessary for the amount of fruit on hand and add a bit of citrus. I had an orange rolling around in the fruit drawer so that is what I added with it’s zest. Cinnamon, ginger and cardamon are also flavors that work well with both plums and figs so that was the final choice for my jam. I have to admit that as this mixture was cooking, I began to have memories of Christmas sweets dancing in my head.
As you cook the jam and wonder if it is ready, you can use a candy thermometer or you can use the trick that I read about on the Not Without Salt blog. It is mentioned that when the jam mixture is placed on a plate, that has been placed in a freezer, it should be the consistency of a slightly loose jam. As seen in this picture.
So once the jam is cooled and in containers, it would be a shame to let it sit in the fridge. My solution was to toast up some ciabatta and lather it with goat cheese topped with my fresh fig and plum jam. So good and tasty. I also discovered that this fig and plum jam is really good on Greek yoghurt with a little homemade granola.
- 750 gm (1.6 lb) figs, chopped into small pieces
- 5-6 (500gm/1.1lb) plums, pits removed and chopped to same size as figs
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- juice and finely grated zest from 1 orange
- 2 cardamon pods, crushed with the blade of a knife
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 thumbnail size piece of fresh ginger
- Place chopped figs, plums and water into a medium sized heavy bottom pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cover.
- Stir the fruit mixture periodically until they have become soft.
- Mix in sugar, orange zest and juice, cardamon pods, cinnamon stick and ginger to the cooked fruit.
- Bring to a boil and allow to thicken (aprox. 20 minutes), uncovered.
- Once the mixture is the correct consistency, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, remove cinnamon stick, pods and ginger.
- Transfer jam mixture to sterilized jars and refrigerate or prepare the jam to be sterilized and prepared for a longer conservation time.