This is the time of year when bounty can become a bit of a burden. Our counter is groaning under the weight of fresh produce. Who decided it was a good idea to buy four pounds of strawberries and four pounds of cherries at the same time? For the third day in a row? And, what about the radishes and the lettuce and the Japanese turnips? Who’s going to eat all those?
You really can get too much of a good thing. Six months of winter (followed by six months of bad ice, as the old Canadian joke goes) leaves me craving fresh food, especially fruit and I always buy way too much, especially berries. Especially strawberries. We now have enough berries to keep a family of bears going through next April. But I blame Marysol for the figs. Encouraging people to buy huge flats of fresh – delicious but highly perishable – figs when they have counters, fridges and tables full of other fruit they’re trying to eat their way through is simply reckless.
Fortunately for everyone, figs and strawberries get along just fine in a jam. This one, from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving By Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard, is equally at home on homemade scones or next to a cheese plate. Make lots, winter is long around here.
Fresh fig and strawberry jam
Makes about 4 cups
1 lb fresh figs, stemmed and cut into small pieces
2 cups strawberries, quartered
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel or enamel pan. Let stand, covered, for one hour. Stir occasionally.
Place, uncovered, on high heat and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, keep the mixture boiling rapidly for 15 minutes or, until the jam coats the back of a spoon thickly and forms large droplets.
Ladle into hot 1-cup (250 ml) canning jars and process for 10 minutes according to the instructions here.