Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fig Jam

The last time we were in Istanbul, my mother was quick enough to put a jar of fig jam into one of our luggage just before we left their house. I didn't care much about it then, it was just a jar of fig jam after all. Last week, I opened the lid one morning and... It was one of the most marvelous homemade jams I've ever tasted. I'm not the only one who claims so. Whoever had a spoon of it asked where I bought it. When I told them it's homemade, they immediately asked for the recipe. Unfortunately, I couldn't tell them how my mother makes it at the time because I wasn't quite sure about the directions. Mothers always add one magical ingredient to whatever they cook and I didn't want to cause any disappointment by giving inaccurate information about the recipe. Anyway, after I talked to my mom about whether there's any kind of magic in it, she  just said 'No.' Her answer was as simple as her recipe was. Even if you haven't tried making jam yet it won't fail you. Give it a try, here it goes.

1 kg figs * not fully ripe
1 kg sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
a few cloves


1. Wash the figs well. Don't remove the stems.
2. Put the figs into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar to cover the figs completely.
3. Let the figs rest in sugar overnight. They will get juicy in the morning.
4. Put the saucepan with fig-sugar mixture over low heat. Don't add any water to dissolve the sugar.                               
5. Add a few cloves.                                                                     
6. Boil the mixture. Stir occasionally until the figs are soft. Let it simmer until bubbles appear on top.                              
7. Check if the syrup is getting thicker. Once you are satisfied with the thickness of the jam, add the lemon juice and simmer for three more minutes.                                            
8. Remove from heat.                                                                  
9. Skim the foam from the jam, stir the jam, and proceed to fill the sterilized jam jars. Fill the jars until they are about 1/2 cm from the top. Wipe the top of the jar clean and close with the lid immediately. 

Have you ever watched Masha and the Bear
You should. You should start watching it as soon as possible with all your family. It's a popular Russian animated series adapted from a Russian fairy tale with the same title. It's hilarious. It's  so non-Hollywood and fantastic. Each episode deals with Masha, the little (literally) naughty girl and her adventures with the caring parent-like bear in the modern world. In the episode above, there are several scenes where Masha and the Bear cook with local vegetables and fruit including raspberries. They make even raspberry jam. Enjoy it! Get more details on Masha and the Bear at animaccord animation studio. 

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