After a set of pretty serious posts, I feel like we need something sweet to propel us into the second half of the week!
If you are like me, you’ve probably spent $$$ on fancy fig jam for cheese (or home-made fig newtons!), or for stuffing pork loin (delicious)- but no need! In fact, you need very little to make an intensely flavorful jam- sweet, slightly acidic, with a touch of a peppery bite.
No- you do not need the pizza dough (BUT, more on that tomorrow!). I also used some sichuan peppercorns- they are super aromatic and have a bit of heat to them. Also, they are softer than regular peppercorns, so you don’t need to fish them out of the jam. If you use regular whole peppercorns (acceptable!)- put them in a little cheesecloth and tie it shut with some string (making a tea-bag like sac)- so you can remove them. Whole peppercorns are a beast when you bite into them.Simply cut up into 1/2 inch pieces about 8 ounces of dried figs- I used Turkish figs. You can also use fresh figs! You will need less water if you use fresh. It just isn’t the season for them around here yet
Add the figs to a pot with 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar and about 1/2 a cup of water. Add a teaspoon of peppercorns (if using regular- use 3-4 whole, in your make-shift tea bag). Cook over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the figs are re-hydrated and are breaking down. Turn off the heat and allow to cool about 5 minutes.
I wanted a finer texture, so I pulsed the mix in my mini food processor a few times. You are more than welcome to leave it chunky! (fig RELISH!).The finished product! It is thick, yet spreadable. It tastes like fig newton filling with a hint (really, just a tiny hint) of floral aromatic from the Sichuan peppercorns.
- 8 ounces Dried Figs (Turkish).
- ½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- ½ Cup water
- 1 Teaspoon Sichuan Peppercorns
- Honey, to taste
- Cut the figs into ½ inch pieces. Place in a saucepan with vinegar, water and peppercorns and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until soft and re-hydrated. Cook a bit further until boiling and liquid appears syrupy. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
- Process a few times in a food processor until your desired texture is reached. I left a few chunks in. Add a teaspoon or more of honey, to taste. (I did not end up adding any honey- my figs were really sweet!)
It begged for some goat cheese. Luckily, we had some Humboldt Fog just hangin’ around!