Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fresh Fig Jam

I was not a jam & jelly kind of a person. Until now. Well, I took up the challenge on Mumbai Food Bloggers' forum on Facebook that revolves around creating a dish with the fruit, vegetable or ingredient of the week. And hence my hunt began for figs, that are in season now. Although I sent hubby to look for them all over the place the week before last, we eventually found them in Hypercity Malad, our well stocked supermarket, and I couldn't wait to try my hand at making my own home made jam! 


When I was little the only jam I knew was the mixed fruit jam by Kissan - the quintessential Indian brand for jams & tomato ketchup. We used to buy it occasionally and slather it generously on buttered bread slices for our Sunday breakfast - breakfast on Sundays was always bread, butter, jam & a Cavendish banana. The kind of 'light' breakfast that used to make my head go dizzy in exactly one hour - yes, somewhere in the middle of the Sunday morning mass that I used to attend. Being a hearty breakfast kind of a person, this 'light' breakfast used to vanish before I took my last bite. The hunger pangs would then send signals to my brains and I used to only picture all kinds of delicious things that my mum had set out to prepare for the Sunday afternoon meal and actually pounce on the food the moment the table was laid without even as much waiting to say the grace before meals.


Well, I simply abandoned the Kissan jam when my cousin from abroad (who was exposed to all kinds of organic jams) told me that most Indian jams were loaded with artificial/synthetic flavours & colours. This was decades ago - before 'organic' became popular even in a place like Mangalore where half the produce was grown at home and was organic anyway. Then came the weight loss era and so once again anything sweet for breakfast (or any meal) was a big no no. Last year I did attempt making Strawberry jam, however, it was done so dispassionately, that I don't think it had any takers and luckily it was a small batch so down the drain it went eventually. 


In 2011 I tried my hand successfully at making wines and I thought it was a good start to try my hand at other kinds of preserves - jams & pickles as well. So luckily for me, this challenge was announced and I am glad I made this jam although a very small batch. I managed to get 600gm of fresh figs that were in good condition. If you wish to make a small batch for yourself (and not to distribute) anything between 500gm-700gm of figs is good to go (unless you plan to eat this seasonal fruit the whole year through). If you have never bought fresh figs before (like me) - remember to pick those that are not pre-packed & sealed (especially in supermarkets in India) - you may get cheated (like me). Clever packing techniques ensure that bad fruit is placed at the bottom of the box and the good ones facing up. You will be in no position to check if each fruit is perfectly ripe and firm. Some of them will be on the verge of rotting. It is better to buy from a known source especially your local fruit vendor who stocks up the best produce.


Figs, known as Anjeer in India range in colour from purple-black (which is what I bought) to pale green. When buying look for slightly yielding flesh as figs don't ripen after picking so buy them ready to eat. Figs go well with sweet and savoury dishes and you can find some yummy and exotic yet simple to make recipes in this month's (Jan '12) BBC GoodFood magazine. 

Figs by the way are one of the oldest fruits - references to the fig tree are made in the Bible as well. The reason why I have named this recipe as a Fresh Fig Jam is because 'Figs' often invoke the picture of dried figs that are very popular. However, this jam is made from the fresh fruit. 

By the way, this time I think I should shut up and let the pictures do the talking. The first one below is my favourite. I have got a million shots of this one. Figs coated in granulated white sugar. Every time I see it a  sense of calm descends over me. I can stare at this picture forever! Pink, white and traces of green - such beautiful colours of life in full bloom. For all those of you who are living in places where the weather is bleak & dreary, I hope these pictures brighten up your mood a bit!

PS: My favourite photo editing site - Picnik.com is closing :-( It's such a pity and it is also why I am unable to make a collage of the process of jam making, so posting each of the pictures separately for you

(Above Pic: Figs quartered and mixed with granulated sugar and a cinnamon quill)



 (Above Pic: Figs after being kept overnight mixed in sugar. The sugar has turned into a syrup)

        (Above Pic: Figs gently stewed on a slow fire for 45 minutes and then mashed with a fork)

                               (Above Pic: Fig jam, cooled and packed into a sterilized jar)


                                                   (Above Pic: Fig jam, ready to eat)

Fresh Fig Jam
(Printable Recipe)

Preparation time: 5 mins | Cooking time: 45mins
Yield: 600gm approx

You Need
  • 500gm figs
  • 200-250 gm sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cinnamon quill/stick (optional)
Method
1. Remove the stems of the figs, wash & drain them. Cut into quarters or chop them up if you want jam in a paste like consistency (I prefer a junky jam so I quartered each of them)
2. Ideally after de-stemming the figs you can weigh them again & use sugar which is half the weight of the figs - this is for a mild to moderately sweet jam. If you wish to make a very sweet jam you can use figs and sugar in the ratio of 1:1
3. Place the figs, sugar and cinnamon quill in a wide bowl & mix the ingredients well. Cover and keep refrigerated overnight. 
4. The next day, heat a heavy bottomed pan on a slow fire and add the fig & sugar mixture. Add the lime juice and let it cook for approx 35-40mins - the sugar will thicken while the figs get stewed. Ensure that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir every now & then. Crush the figs gently using a fork.
5. Towards the end of the cooking time you can do a 'gel' test by placing a little jam on a metal spoon that has been dipped in ice cold water. Allow the mixture to cool and check the consistency desired. When a good gel stage is reached, the surface of the fruit mixture will wrinkle slightly when pushed with a finger
6. Turn off the flame and spoon the mixture into sterilized jars (read how to sterilize jars here) when the mixture is still hot (once the mixture cools it will get sticky and it will be hard to handle). Leave the jar lids open until the mixture has cooled. Close the lids and store in a cool place. 
7. Enjoy the jam with some warm bread & butter!

28 comments:

  1. The fresh jam is such a delight to see..love it love it totally love it. I have never made jam before but urs is totally tempting.
    I too am so sad about picnik closing..I loved to make collages in it. Guess have to start using photoshop more now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. OMG, amazing clicks.enjoyed every bit of your write up.very delicious looking jam, would love to try, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Seriously cant take my eyes from ur irresistible click,super tempting fresh homemade jam.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love all homemade jams and marmalade...Have been making them in the microwave because I make small quantities anyways.
    Gorgeous pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG., jam looks super duper delicious Shireen. Home made always wins hands down.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Shireen this is an amazing post and the pics......I have no words to express how you have captured that pocessof te sugar and figs gettig married! Can almost taste it, i also love trying out preserves, chutneys and jams

    ReplyDelete
  7. An absolute delightful jam!!!! Yup...we all at home hate those packaged jams..Only commercial ones we buy are from Fab India which are pretty good..But nothing like making a good homemade jam when time permits..Bookmarked this one which is definitely a keeper!!

    We do get fresh figs in mlore too sometimes but unfortunately all are packed ones..Will try this jam next time I get my hands on them!!

    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

    ReplyDelete
  8. Amazing! Sure want to try my hand at it Shir after seeing all those lovely pics. Good going dear. Save some for me too.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Would love a jar of that flavorful jam. yummm

    ReplyDelete
  10. This recipe completely made my day! As a child, my neighborhood was filled with fig trees and I absolutely love them. I haven't had fig preserves since I was a child...I'm making your recipe as soon as I can get my hands on some figs :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shireen, I cannot help but laugh here. This time I carried a bottle of Kissan mixed fruit jam to Germany...:D :D :D Ms Anna insisted that we get one for her at any cost. And we live in a country where the jams, preserves and marmalades are to die for, just awesome!!! I also picked up a copy of BBC good food while in India and it was love at first sight for me. The recipes are amazing and I prepared quite a few on return. The soups are a must try and also the toast toppers. If I am not mistaken, there's a similar jam recipe using strawberries in the issue, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  12. About Collaging of Photo's, you can download a free Google software called Picasa which will help you do a lot more than just a normal collage!! try it!! its very easy to use! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments!!

    Thanks Raji, Ms Chitchat, Priya, Radhika, Sangeeta!!

    Prathima: Do try it if you get a good batch of figs in Mlore :) Lemme know how it turns out

    Rinku..despatching a bottle for you soon :-)

    Shawn great to know that you grew up with fig trees around you. It's so good if you can make jams from fruits that grown in your own garden isnt it?!!

    May! What a coincidence! Haha! U brought Kissan back? For old times sake - yeah, I still love it although I don't buy it so often. And yes, the Jan issue of BBC GoodFood has strawberry jam recipe :) Its an awesome magazine

    Kelvin! Thanks so much, but I am aware of Picasa..used it much before I found Picnik & was comfortable with it..I guess i'll have to go back to Picasa or switch to Photoshop :-(

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks delicious...yummy with bread

    ReplyDelete
  15. Looks delicious...Which place r u in mumbai ?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks Vanamala..i live in Andheri W, what abt u?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lovely, fresh fruit preserve! Sounds easy too. Bookmarking this, when it's fresh fig season here, this recipe will definitely be recalled.

    ReplyDelete
  18. yummy,but i have a Q,where do you find fresh figs in delhi ?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Alka, thanks for your comment. I live in Mumbai so I am not sure where you will find figs in Delhi, however since they are in season, you should find them in your local fruit market or at well stocked supermarkets like Hypercity (if you have one) or Godrej Nature's Basket or similar gourmet stores

    ReplyDelete
  20. wow! it looks even better here!! I always thought making preservatives was a complicated task!

    ReplyDelete
  21. the jam looks very preety and the color too Following you...good blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. great!.....simply superb.i normally make my jam with dried figs ...this is just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  23. @simran Thanks a ton Simran..I would love to try the one with dried figs next :) when fresh ones are not in season..

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love ur clicks and yummy finger licking jam dear

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fresh Fig Jam

I was not a jam & jelly kind of a person. Until now. Well, I took up the challenge on Mumbai Food Bloggers' forum on Facebook that revolves around creating a dish with the fruit, vegetable or ingredient of the week. And hence my hunt began for figs, that are in season now. Although I sent hubby to look for them all over the place the week before last, we eventually found them in Hypercity Malad, our well stocked supermarket, and I couldn't wait to try my hand at making my own home made jam! 


When I was little the only jam I knew was the mixed fruit jam by Kissan - the quintessential Indian brand for jams & tomato ketchup. We used to buy it occasionally and slather it generously on buttered bread slices for our Sunday breakfast - breakfast on Sundays was always bread, butter, jam & a Cavendish banana. The kind of 'light' breakfast that used to make my head go dizzy in exactly one hour - yes, somewhere in the middle of the Sunday morning mass that I used to attend. Being a hearty breakfast kind of a person, this 'light' breakfast used to vanish before I took my last bite. The hunger pangs would then send signals to my brains and I used to only picture all kinds of delicious things that my mum had set out to prepare for the Sunday afternoon meal and actually pounce on the food the moment the table was laid without even as much waiting to say the grace before meals.


Well, I simply abandoned the Kissan jam when my cousin from abroad (who was exposed to all kinds of organic jams) told me that most Indian jams were loaded with artificial/synthetic flavours & colours. This was decades ago - before 'organic' became popular even in a place like Mangalore where half the produce was grown at home and was organic anyway. Then came the weight loss era and so once again anything sweet for breakfast (or any meal) was a big no no. Last year I did attempt making Strawberry jam, however, it was done so dispassionately, that I don't think it had any takers and luckily it was a small batch so down the drain it went eventually. 


In 2011 I tried my hand successfully at making wines and I thought it was a good start to try my hand at other kinds of preserves - jams & pickles as well. So luckily for me, this challenge was announced and I am glad I made this jam although a very small batch. I managed to get 600gm of fresh figs that were in good condition. If you wish to make a small batch for yourself (and not to distribute) anything between 500gm-700gm of figs is good to go (unless you plan to eat this seasonal fruit the whole year through). If you have never bought fresh figs before (like me) - remember to pick those that are not pre-packed & sealed (especially in supermarkets in India) - you may get cheated (like me). Clever packing techniques ensure that bad fruit is placed at the bottom of the box and the good ones facing up. You will be in no position to check if each fruit is perfectly ripe and firm. Some of them will be on the verge of rotting. It is better to buy from a known source especially your local fruit vendor who stocks up the best produce.


Figs, known as Anjeer in India range in colour from purple-black (which is what I bought) to pale green. When buying look for slightly yielding flesh as figs don't ripen after picking so buy them ready to eat. Figs go well with sweet and savoury dishes and you can find some yummy and exotic yet simple to make recipes in this month's (Jan '12) BBC GoodFood magazine. 

Figs by the way are one of the oldest fruits - references to the fig tree are made in the Bible as well. The reason why I have named this recipe as a Fresh Fig Jam is because 'Figs' often invoke the picture of dried figs that are very popular. However, this jam is made from the fresh fruit. 

By the way, this time I think I should shut up and let the pictures do the talking. The first one below is my favourite. I have got a million shots of this one. Figs coated in granulated white sugar. Every time I see it a  sense of calm descends over me. I can stare at this picture forever! Pink, white and traces of green - such beautiful colours of life in full bloom. For all those of you who are living in places where the weather is bleak & dreary, I hope these pictures brighten up your mood a bit!

PS: My favourite photo editing site - Picnik.com is closing :-( It's such a pity and it is also why I am unable to make a collage of the process of jam making, so posting each of the pictures separately for you

(Above Pic: Figs quartered and mixed with granulated sugar and a cinnamon quill)



 (Above Pic: Figs after being kept overnight mixed in sugar. The sugar has turned into a syrup)

        (Above Pic: Figs gently stewed on a slow fire for 45 minutes and then mashed with a fork)

                               (Above Pic: Fig jam, cooled and packed into a sterilized jar)


                                                   (Above Pic: Fig jam, ready to eat)

Fresh Fig Jam
(Printable Recipe)

Preparation time: 5 mins | Cooking time: 45mins
Yield: 600gm approx

You Need
  • 500gm figs
  • 200-250 gm sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cinnamon quill/stick (optional)
Method
1. Remove the stems of the figs, wash & drain them. Cut into quarters or chop them up if you want jam in a paste like consistency (I prefer a junky jam so I quartered each of them)
2. Ideally after de-stemming the figs you can weigh them again & use sugar which is half the weight of the figs - this is for a mild to moderately sweet jam. If you wish to make a very sweet jam you can use figs and sugar in the ratio of 1:1
3. Place the figs, sugar and cinnamon quill in a wide bowl & mix the ingredients well. Cover and keep refrigerated overnight. 
4. The next day, heat a heavy bottomed pan on a slow fire and add the fig & sugar mixture. Add the lime juice and let it cook for approx 35-40mins - the sugar will thicken while the figs get stewed. Ensure that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir every now & then. Crush the figs gently using a fork.
5. Towards the end of the cooking time you can do a 'gel' test by placing a little jam on a metal spoon that has been dipped in ice cold water. Allow the mixture to cool and check the consistency desired. When a good gel stage is reached, the surface of the fruit mixture will wrinkle slightly when pushed with a finger
6. Turn off the flame and spoon the mixture into sterilized jars (read how to sterilize jars here) when the mixture is still hot (once the mixture cools it will get sticky and it will be hard to handle). Leave the jar lids open until the mixture has cooled. Close the lids and store in a cool place. 
7. Enjoy the jam with some warm bread & butter!

28 comments:

  1. The fresh jam is such a delight to see..love it love it totally love it. I have never made jam before but urs is totally tempting.
    I too am so sad about picnik closing..I loved to make collages in it. Guess have to start using photoshop more now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. OMG, amazing clicks.enjoyed every bit of your write up.very delicious looking jam, would love to try, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Seriously cant take my eyes from ur irresistible click,super tempting fresh homemade jam.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love all homemade jams and marmalade...Have been making them in the microwave because I make small quantities anyways.
    Gorgeous pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG., jam looks super duper delicious Shireen. Home made always wins hands down.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Shireen this is an amazing post and the pics......I have no words to express how you have captured that pocessof te sugar and figs gettig married! Can almost taste it, i also love trying out preserves, chutneys and jams

    ReplyDelete
  7. An absolute delightful jam!!!! Yup...we all at home hate those packaged jams..Only commercial ones we buy are from Fab India which are pretty good..But nothing like making a good homemade jam when time permits..Bookmarked this one which is definitely a keeper!!

    We do get fresh figs in mlore too sometimes but unfortunately all are packed ones..Will try this jam next time I get my hands on them!!

    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

    ReplyDelete
  8. Amazing! Sure want to try my hand at it Shir after seeing all those lovely pics. Good going dear. Save some for me too.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Would love a jar of that flavorful jam. yummm

    ReplyDelete
  10. This recipe completely made my day! As a child, my neighborhood was filled with fig trees and I absolutely love them. I haven't had fig preserves since I was a child...I'm making your recipe as soon as I can get my hands on some figs :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shireen, I cannot help but laugh here. This time I carried a bottle of Kissan mixed fruit jam to Germany...:D :D :D Ms Anna insisted that we get one for her at any cost. And we live in a country where the jams, preserves and marmalades are to die for, just awesome!!! I also picked up a copy of BBC good food while in India and it was love at first sight for me. The recipes are amazing and I prepared quite a few on return. The soups are a must try and also the toast toppers. If I am not mistaken, there's a similar jam recipe using strawberries in the issue, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  12. About Collaging of Photo's, you can download a free Google software called Picasa which will help you do a lot more than just a normal collage!! try it!! its very easy to use! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments!!

    Thanks Raji, Ms Chitchat, Priya, Radhika, Sangeeta!!

    Prathima: Do try it if you get a good batch of figs in Mlore :) Lemme know how it turns out

    Rinku..despatching a bottle for you soon :-)

    Shawn great to know that you grew up with fig trees around you. It's so good if you can make jams from fruits that grown in your own garden isnt it?!!

    May! What a coincidence! Haha! U brought Kissan back? For old times sake - yeah, I still love it although I don't buy it so often. And yes, the Jan issue of BBC GoodFood has strawberry jam recipe :) Its an awesome magazine

    Kelvin! Thanks so much, but I am aware of Picasa..used it much before I found Picnik & was comfortable with it..I guess i'll have to go back to Picasa or switch to Photoshop :-(

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks delicious...yummy with bread

    ReplyDelete
  15. Looks delicious...Which place r u in mumbai ?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks Vanamala..i live in Andheri W, what abt u?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lovely, fresh fruit preserve! Sounds easy too. Bookmarking this, when it's fresh fig season here, this recipe will definitely be recalled.

    ReplyDelete
  18. yummy,but i have a Q,where do you find fresh figs in delhi ?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Alka, thanks for your comment. I live in Mumbai so I am not sure where you will find figs in Delhi, however since they are in season, you should find them in your local fruit market or at well stocked supermarkets like Hypercity (if you have one) or Godrej Nature's Basket or similar gourmet stores

    ReplyDelete
  20. wow! it looks even better here!! I always thought making preservatives was a complicated task!

    ReplyDelete
  21. the jam looks very preety and the color too Following you...good blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. great!.....simply superb.i normally make my jam with dried figs ...this is just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  23. @simran Thanks a ton Simran..I would love to try the one with dried figs next :) when fresh ones are not in season..

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love ur clicks and yummy finger licking jam dear

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)