Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fig Thyme Jam and remembering an old friend...

I know that some of you are thinking "why figs and thyme", its one of those magical combinations that just work well together. I love pairing savory elements with sweets, for a creation that is unthought of or unexpected. I've been looking for figs to come around for some time and boy did I get a surprise at my last Costco trip, 2 pounds of the most beautiful fresh figs. I was intending on making a tart with them, but time got the best of me again and they started to get too soft. So a jam was in order, and thyme from my little container garden was needing to get used, so Fig Thyme Jam was created.

Jam reminds me of this girl that I went to pastry school with, jam was her jam! We ended up working together right out of school. She was awesome, always had great taste and had some amazing ideas. She ended starting her own business making and selling hand crafted jams. The girl's a riot and I really miss working with her. Miss you, E! 

Making jam is fairly easy, just need a little time and patience. I go about it the easy way and don't use pectin. 

Start by washing fruit, be gentle when washing figs. Cut fruit in small pieces, mix with sugar, thyme, and vanilla bean. Let rest 30 minutes to get the juices flowing. Start cooking at medium temperature, once it starts to boil keep a close eye on it, so that it doesn't burn. You'll start to notice whitish foam forming at the surface, skim this off and discard. The foam is the impurities from the sugar, not a big deal, but it will create a foggy effect in the finished product. Once mixture reaches 220ยบ F it is done, at this time I splashed a little lemon juice to round out the sweetness.  I used a sifter to remove the skins, vanilla bean pod, and thyme branches. Let cool in an ice bath. Then bottle up.

Fig Thyme Jam

makes about 12 ounces

2 pounds Fresh Figs
1 pound Sugar
4 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 Vanilla Bean Pod
Juice from half of Lemon

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