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  • Writer's pictureKaren Buch RDN, LDN

Entertain with Fig Jam

Fig Jam is one of my favorite additions to holiday entertaining. A jar of Fig Jam pairs nicely with a bottle of wine as a hostess gift. Plus, I love to use it add fig flavor to both sweet and savory treats for guests. Today, I’m teaming up with California Figs to show you a scrumptious way to entertain using my Easy California Fig Jam. It's so easy to make! Then, try making this super-simple Fig Jam Flatbread featuring creamy goat cheese, shallots, prosciutto, arugula and a drizzle of Easy California Fig Jam (both recipes below).

Fig Jam can be made using fresh figs or dried figs. Fig jam recipes will vary greatly due to difference in water content between fresh and dried figs. Fresh figs are available May-November, but have a short shelf life. Consequently, California fig growers dry many of their figs for use all year long.

I’m making this Fig Jam using convenient California-grown dried figs. I chose to use half black mission figs and half golden figs, but either type of California dried figs will work well. Select black mission figs for a darker-colored jam or golden figs for a lighter-colored jam. It takes about 25 minutes to make this fig jam, plus 10 minutes to process in a water bath (optional). Easy California Fig Jam (made with dried figs)

INGREDIENTS 18 ounces dried figs, stems removed (approximately 30 dried figs or 4 cups) 3 ¾ cups water 1/3 cup bottled orange juice 1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice 3 ½ cups sugar 1 (1.75 ounce) box powdered fruit pectin (such as Ball or Sure-Jell) 6 (1-cup) jars with lids (such as Ball)

STEP 1 -To remove each stem, simply twist and discard. -Combine whole dried figs and water in a saucepan. -Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. -Reduce heat, cover and boil gently until softened (about 20 minutes. -Remove saucepan from heat.

STEP 2 -Mash each fig with a fork to ensure tenderness. -Lightly puree, in the saucepan, using a stick blender (about 20 seconds). -Add orange juice, lemon juice and pectin. Whisk until dissolved. -Return to high heat and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring frequently. -Add sugar all at once. Stir constantly. Return to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. -Boil for one minute. Skim off any foam.

STEP 3 Pour hot jam into jars. Cool and top with lids. Store in the refrigerator. Use within 10 days. -OR- There are two options for longer shelf life:

1. FREEZE Pour jam into freezer-safe jars (leave ½-inch headspace). Freeze up to 18 months. -OR- 2. USE A WATER BATH (for shelf-stable storage) -Ladle hot jam into 6 warm, clean, 1-cup jars (leave ½-inch headspace). -Wipe rim of each filled jar (with a clean, moist paper towel) and top with a canning lid. -Screw metal canning band down to finger-tip tightness. -Place jars into a rack-lined stock pot and cover completely with water (plus one inch). -Bring water to a rolling boil and process for 10 minutes. -Remove jars from water bath to cool. Remove rings and let stand until sealed. -Tap each jar lid to ensure a good seal (Jars should seal within 24-48 hours). -Store sealed jam in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 18 months. Refrigerate after opening.

Fig Jam Flatbread

INGREDIENTS 1 (7-ounce) prepared flatbread (such as Stonefire®) 2-ounces creamy goat cheese

1 medium shallot (finely diced) 2-ounces prosciutto, slice into 8 bite-size pieces 1/4 cup fresh arugula leaves 2 Tbsp Easy California Fig Jam (recipe above)

Step 1 Preheat oven to 425 ° Heat flatbread on baking sheet' 4 to 6 min. Step 2 Warm goat cheese in small microwave-safe bowl to reach spreading consistency. Remove flatbread from oven. Spread goat cheese evenly to create a thin layer. Top evenly with shallots and prosciutto. Return flatbread to the oven for 2 min. Step 3 Remove flatbread from oven. Top with arugula and drizzle with fig jam. Slice into 8 triangles. (Slice rectangle into 2 squares. Slice squares twice diagonally to make 4 triangles). Serve with additional fig jam.

TIP: For a thinner / more pourable jam: Warm fig jam in microwave--5 seconds at a time--adding 1/4 tsp water. Stir to desired consistency.

More Ways to Use Fig Jam Use my Easy California Fig Jam as your secret entertaining ingredient. Fig Jam Appetizer Tray Serve fig jam with cracker or pita crisps and your favorite flavorful, soft cheeses ~ Brie, gorgonzola and creamy goat cheese. For milder flavor, pour fig jam over a block of neufchatel (1/3 less fat cream cheese) to serve as a cracker spread. Fig Jam Cookies Make your favorite thumbprint cookie recipe and fill the thumbprint with fig jam.

For more ideas on how to cook with figs, check out the NEW California Figs Cookbook featuring 62 fig recipes and info on all things fig! You'll find Figs 101, an overview of California Fig varieties and highlights of fig nutritional benefits.



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