My passion for figs is similar to my passion for tomatoes; it starts out all guns blazing, only to die a sudden death after the second consecutive week of thrice-daily consumption. Figs are pure nectar, either eaten straight from the tree still warm from the sun, in a salad with proscuitto or Bayonne ham, in Greek yoghurt with almonds, or with ice cream and hot honey sauce…
Once your two weeks are up and you would rather gnaw your own arm off than eat another fresh fig, you can make jam. This jam is reasonably healthy because it isn’t too sweet and the cinnamon regulates your insulin reaction to the sugar there is. Figs are a great source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
A few words of warning: the first is that jam sticks to pans if left unattended. My husband made an enormous pot-full, left it to simmer and then went to mend a fence (as you do!). Consequently, not only was I exposed to some very rude words, but also the unbearably grating sound of metal scrubbing metal for most of the evening. The second is to make sure to remove the fruit-picking ladder from underneath the tree every evening. Hens may not be very bright, but if the reward is delicious enough, they will find a way to climb a stepladder…
1 kilo of fresh figs
500g cane sugar
30g fresh grated ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
half a lemon
Cut the figs into quarters and add to the water in a large saucepan (preferably non-stick!). Cut the (washed) lemon into small pieces and add to the saucepan. Finally add the sugar, ginger and the cinnamon and gently bring to a simmer. Stir frequently and leave to simmer for about an hour. Transfer into sterilised jam jars.