I’ve been on a make-it-yourself kick this year. I’ve been making candy and salad dressings, and sunflower butter, and lately – jam, lots and lots of jam. What to do with all these great foods? Why give them as gifts, of course… but first I had to make some more jam. Why? Because I found some figs.
I can only find figs in my local grocery store or a couple of months in the year – and even then, they seem to disappear quickly. I decided to pair the figs with pears, and came up with a luscious gluten-free and allergen-free jam that would make a great hostess gift or teacher gift. Or serve it instead of (or in addition to) cranberry sauce.
Figgy Pear Jam
2 cups figs, chopped (about 6-8 figs)
2 cups pears, peeled and diced (about 2 pears)
1 2/3 cups of sugar
½ tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Combine the chopped figs and pears with the sugar and vanilla in a medium-large non-reactive (stainless steel works wonderfully), and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. The sugar will start to liquefy.
Boil on medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes until the pears start to get mushy. Use a potato masher to break up chunks of pears and figs. You can make this very smooth or keep it chunky – whatever you prefer.
Add the lemon juice and boil for another 5 to 10 minutes until the jam is thickened.
If you want to preserve the jam (as I did), you should have the jams jars boiling while you make the jam. Boil the filled jam jars for 10 minutes. Otherwise, store the jam in the refrigerator or freeze in an airtight container.
This recipe makes about 2 ½ cups of jam – enough for a gift and to keep some for you! Yum!