I went into Bodrum this week and was sad to see that all the fig trees around the bus station were shedding their fruit onto the pavements and it was being squashed underfoot. Bodrumites are obviously too busy rushing about to have time to collect this bounty. Luckily I'm a 50% villager so I've been busy making fig jam. I don't have any fig trees (a deficiency we will address this winter) so had to buy from the Sunday market, but at this time of year figs are on sale just about everywhere, especially by the side of major roads where you get to buy them in twee little baskets. The only commercially available fig jams in Turkey are more like figs in syrup; the recipe calls for a litre of water to be added to the figs and sugar. I like a thick consistency that can stand up for itself so I adapted my strawberry jam recipe and hoped for the best.
3 kg ripe fresh figs
juice of 3 lemons
2 packets of "reçel yap" or 2 tsp powdered or liquid pectin
Snip off the hard stalk end of each fig and slice into 4. I got very sticky doing this with a knife and found a pair of kitchen scissors made the job much easier. Add the sugar, pectin and lemon juice to the figs in a large preserving pan, cover with a tea towel and leave for 4 hours. When you go back to the pan you'll be surprised at the amount of juice that has been extracted from the fruit. Put the pan on a low heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. I then used a stick blender to break up the fruit in the pan but this is optional. Bring the pan up to a rolling boil and don't leave the stove. If you turn your back the bottom will stick and you'll have burnt jam, so keep stirring occasionally to stop it catching. A thermometer is the most useful bit of kit to have if you're a jam maker as the mixture has to come up to 112C or 220 F degrees to set. As an indicator, mine boiled for 15 minutes. Once this temperature has been reached keep the rolling boil until a drop of jam on a cold plate starts to wrinkle. Turn off the heat and start sterilizing your jars. I put clean jars in the oven at 100 C for 20 minutes. Allow them to cool slightly then pour the hot jam into the hot jars and seal.
We've already got through two jars as this is a fantastic accompaniment to hard ewes cheese for breakfast and a spoonful added to banana, nectarine and milk makes a great afternoon milkshake.