Since my luscious rose petal, rhubarb and apple conserve, I've made a few jars each of the following: Blackcurrant jam, strawberry jam, Seville Marmalade, and Apricot. All fairly standard.
Each year I look out for figs. Early September on the Saturday of Leamington's food festival, I found this wonderful tray of figs at the greengrocers in Leamington. Here if you ask for Vanilla, they unscrew a large glass jar, and put the plump vanilla pods in a paper bag. Carrying this on top of the box of figs to the car on a warm sunny day got me thinking of my father...wish he was still around for me to talk food with....he used to call me his little 'gourmet gourmande'.
Here is my recipe:
1 Kg Fresh figs, weighed after trimming
650g sugar and 100g honey
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 lemon zest and juice
3 tbsp. rum, Mauritian Vanilla Rum if possible, added just before potting, or you could use something like Port with a vanilla pod during the macerating.
Chop up the figs into pieces, and add the other ingredients, except for the rum, and macerate, covered with film for a few hours or overnight. In the sunshine on my stone table in the conservatory, I watched the juices develop, and could not resist a little stir from time to time.
Stir over a low heat, then bring to the boil,
and continue until thick. Stir from time to time to avoid any sticking, especially towards the end. Because of the low sugar ratio, and the high fruit content, its no use using the temperature test just cook gently till you have the consistency you like. I like mine quite thick, I got 1.2 Kg net weight from this lot.
I love this fig conserve stirred through yogurt, at the bottom of on in a steamed pudding, or in a bakewell type tart. Lovely too on fresh scones.
This is one of my favourite preserves.