We’re a few months off from having fat, ripe, fresh figs available in our local markets here in southern California, so we had to turn to dried figs when we started thinking about a grilled Manchego cheese sandwich…
But as good and sweet as dried figs are, they’re still just a little too hard and tough for something as tender as a grilled cheese sandwich, no matter how finely chopped or sliced. We made the dried figs into a jam to spread onto the slices of bread.
The fig jam is delicious, and because we didn’t add any sugar, we’re probably going to use it for a lot of other things. We’re not sure what other things yet, but we know there will be a lot. (We are thinking that this might be the way to make fig ice cream during the winter months!)
Dried Fig Jam
makes about 1 cup
1 cup of chopped dried figs
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
splash of wine (because I was drinking it at the time, but you can leave this out)
2-3 tablespoons sugar (optional)
Put the chopped figs and water (and sugar if you’re adding) in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until the figs are plump and very soft, about 20 minutes. If the water evaporates too much, add just enough to keep the figs simmering.
Turn off the stove and pour the contents of the pot into a food processor. Add lemon juice and pinch of salt (and wine!) and puree (carefully, as the contents are very hot). If the fig jam is too thick or chunky, just add more water about a teaspoonful at a time until the consistency is that of a spreadable paste.
Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and store. It will probably keep about three days in the refrigerator.