My parents recently spent a weekend at my grandmother's house, and they brought me back two bags full of ripe figs from grandma's majestic old fig tree. Grandma believes the variety is "Celeste". The figs were purple-red, plump, sweet, and perfect.
I love fig preserves, and decided to try my hand at making some. Rather than go to the trouble of doing the boiling-water bath for such a small batch, I found a recipe for refrigerator jam. It was so easy, just chopped figs, sugar (I used raw turbinado sugar), lemon juice, and a bit of water. The mixture gets cooked way down. The resulting jam is rich and honey-flavored and delicious.
I only ended up with three jelly-jars worth of jam, so it's just as well that I didn't bother with the water bath. I would like to know how long refrigerator jam will keep, since the recipes I found didn't mention it. I'd love to serve some of this jam along with a big piece of brie and crackers at my annual Mid-Autumn Moon party in September. Anyone have any idea if they will be safe to eat in 6 weeks? If not, I suppose we'll have to eat them all up before then!
I wish grandma lived closer. Dad told me that her tree is so loaded with figs right now that the branches are drooping from the weight of them. I would love to put up some whole figs in syrup, as well as more of the basic jam. I'm grateful for the three jars I have, though. Figs are among the most luscious of summer fruits!