There's an abundance of figs in the Deep South of (almost) Coastal Mississippi this year. Everybody that has a good-sized tree has shared and shared some more with Mama and me. She makes fig preserves with most of hers, saving enough for a batch of strawberry figs. I'm not particularly fond of fig preserves, having eaten enough for a lifetime before Hurricane Frederick came along and took out our tree that was large enough for an adult to climb in.
There's also been a profusion of blueberries the entire spring stretching into full-blown summer. Hopefully the last picking of the rabbit's eye berries will be completed tomorrow just in time to start picking the older cultivar of smaller blacker blueberries with less seed and more flavor (a lemon blueberry jelly recipe is also slowly evolving, since there's no shortage of the small yummylicious berries).
Finding a recipe to combine the two tasty fruits into one jam occupied several hours on Google Wednesday evening. No single recipe tingled the taste buds with imaginative delight though, so several were combined and refined to develop one. I even left out a few ingredients like gingered honey at the last minute 'cause the resultant jam was already deliciously flavored and needed nothing more.
Easy to assemble with non-foreign ingredients i.e. ones not found at WalMart or Piggly Wiggly, relatively quick cooking, and the tastiest thing in a jelly jar since the vanilla bean pear jelly, here's a delightful recipe for
Blueberry Fig Jam
8 cups ripe figs, stemmed
3 cups blueberries, smashed a little
5 cups granulated sugar
1 box SureJel (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest from one lemon
Place all ingredients in a non-reactive pan and let sit for several hours. The process of drawing juice can be sped up somewhat if everything is gently stirred enough for the sugar to reach to the bottom. Mama puts her figs in sugar late at night, letting them draw juice until the morning when she starts cooking them. If the figs and blueberries are ripe, though, they'll get watery pretty quick.
Cook on low to medium heat, stirring often to prevent scorching (ewwwww - nasty) until figs have cooked clear and jam has reduced to desired consistency.
Ladle into sterile jars and seal. Lots of folks water bath their jams and jellies. Mama and I never have but that's just us. The USDA recommends it to be safe.
Makes 5 1/2 pints.
The SureJel absolutely is optional. Blueberries have a high amount of natural pectin so it's not necessary. I like to use it for the extra bit of jelling assurance, though.
Y'all enjoy! It's yyyyyummy and just one more way to have figs (and blueberries) preserved in the pantry!