FIGS, FIGS, FIGS!
PLUMS! PLUMS! PLUMS!
These two fruits are on every corner barrow, in every street manav/ green grocer’s, in all the markets. The season for both coincides right NOW so don’t delay, make this delicious jam today!
Turkish cooks do use figs for jam but funnily enough, not the ripe purple ones that we use! They go for the small, under-ripe green ones which were available earlier – shades of the green plums/erik and the equally green almonds/çağla. Isn’t that strange? There seems to be a national predilection for sour which I find inexplicable when they are so fond of those divine, unbelievably sweet desserts like baklava, künefe, and the like. How do they reconcile the tastes, I wonder?
So this recipe is extremely seasonal yet not at all Turkish.
I will say that for the success of this jam, you must find the best-tasting of both these fruits. For example, the little plums that grow in every backyard in Assos are almost not worth the effort as their taste is negligible. Figs too can vary considerably so if you find a good source, go for it!
- Chop figs and put into a large preserving pan. Halve plums, remove and discard stones. Chop flesh and add to figs with 50ml/2fl oz water, and orange zest and juice.
- Cover and cook gently for 20min, squashing fruit occasionally with a wooden spoon until soft.
- Uncover, stir in spices and sugar, then heat, stirring gently, until sugar dissolves. Turn up heat and bring to boil. Bubble for 25-30 minutes until setting point is reached, or a sugar thermometer registers 105C/221F- make sure it’s reading the jam’s temperature, not the base of the pan.
- Take pan off the heat and remove surface scum with a metal spoon. Pot into sterilised jars, cover with wax discs and airtight lids. Store in a cool, dark place for up to six months, and in fridge once opened.