Figs always surprise me, because I’m not completely sure when I’ll be able to get them. I’ve read that they are available for the first couple weeks of June and then they come back again in August and last through October… I just never seem to catch them before other people do. But, when I was at the market recently, not even thinking about figs, they they were. Trays of them were lined up, just waiting for someone to claim them. Twist my arm.
The first recipe I want to share is this sweet and spicy jam using a variety of flavors ranging from the sweet figs, to bright lemon and spicy serrano. I even added a touch of thyme, because that little taste of fall works really well with the other flavors.
You could easily substitute the serrano with a jalapeño, but in my experience, jalapeños are tricky. Sometimes they’re spicy and sometimes I don’t even know that I’ve added one to my recipe. With serrano peppers, I always get the heat and a little can go a long way. I recommend starting with half, because sometimes one full serrano pepper is just a little too much. And, with this jam, flavor balance is important. You don’t want it to be too spicy or overly sweet. Taste as you go… if more heat is needed to cut through the sweetness, go for it and use the whole serrano.
I also want to note that the longer you simmer, the thicker the jam. If it gets to be too thick, just add a little water at a time. A little will go a long way to cut through the thickness, so be careful not to dilute the flavors.
You can use this jam with good, stinky cheeses and breads, but I have something else in mind for next week. Stay tuned for another recipe with a fun way to use fresh figs and this delicious jam together.
What are some of your favorite recipes that use figs?
You should also check out my Homemade Strawberry Jam.
Fig and Serrano Jam with Lemon and Thyme
1 pound fresh figs
1/2 serrano pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon lemon rind
1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1. Place all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and stir to combine.
2. Bring the mix to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
3. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Note: The longer you simmer, the thicker the jam will become. If it gets too thick, slowly add a little water to help thin it out. You might need to adjust some flavors so the water doesn’t dilute them too much.
4. Remove the thyme sprigs and pulse the jam with an immersion blender to reduce the chunks, if desired.
5. Pour the jam into a jar and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.
Note: This recipe made between 4 and 5 ounces of jam, so be sure to double the recipe if you’d like to make a bigger batch.
All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.