I have made fig jam previously and when I saw the addition of earl grey tea to a recipe I knew I had to try it. Subtle flavours can really add a zing to the end result – such as the addition of rosewater to raspberry jam. This recipe is more of a compote than a jam, so you can serve it with muesli and yoghurt or on pancakes.
Figs ripen so quickly that even with a tree full of fruit it is impossible to get 1kg of fruit that are all ready at the same time, so I always freeze my figs whole and can use them when I get enough for a particular recipe.
A traditional jam recipe uses a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar to get the best preservation but you can experiment with using less sugar if you prefer – particularly if you are going to use it relatively quickly or can keep it in the fridge.
I tend to use jam setting sugar for my jam making because it already contains the pectin that is needed to help the jam set. Of course you can add pectin separately or make your own apple pectin stock.
1kg fresh figs (I used frozen)
2 Earl Grey tea bags (I used loose French Earl Grey tea in a cloth bag)
Juice of 1 lemon
1kg jam setting sugar
Trim the stems off the figs, halve and slice thinly. Place into a preserving pan.
Add lemon juice, tea bags and water. (Next time I will use boiling water and make a strong tea rather than having to fish the teabags out at the end.)
Gently simmer until the fig flesh breaks down and the juice starts to run out (about 5 mins).
Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring so that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Remove tea bags.
Ladle into hot, sterilised jars and seal.